Motorists advised to be alert to overland flooding affecting roadways
March 29, 2017
The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) would like to alert motorists that overland flooding may occur in the next several days as warmer temperatures are expected across the state. Currently it is expected that most flooding will occur in the northern part of the state. Motorists are encouraged to check road conditions before traveling due to rapidly changing conditions. Fluctuating water levels make it difficult to predict when and where water will go over a roadway or recede from the roadway. For updated road information, call 511 from any type of phone or go to the Travel Information Map on our website at www.dot.nd.gov.
The NDDOT offers the following tips about driving in flooded areas:
Slow down and increase following distances. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. Be careful of standing and running water, a wet road is more slippery than a dry road. When there is water on the road, tires lose traction and adherence to the road, therefore, slow down and leave extra space between vehicles.
- Be aware that wet roads may become icy as temperatures drop below freezing.
- If the road is blocked by barricades, find another route. A road may look safe, but it could be washed out under the water or underneath the road surface and damage may not be visible to the motorist. Barricades are put up by state and local officials to keep travelers away from unsafe roads.
- Do not drive around barricades. Many water rescues have been caused by motorists ignoring warnings. The NDDOT will remove barricades and reopen roadways or bridges after inspecting them to make sure they are safe.
- Be aware of swift-moving water. If you are driving and come upon rapidly rising waters, turn around and find an alternate route. Rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUV’s) and pick-ups.
- Due to high water near roadways in some areas across the state, motorists are encouraged to use caution while traveling, vehicles that leave the roadway may become immersed in high water.
Road closed signs and barricades are placed on roads and bridges for the safety of the traveling public. It is against the law to drive past a road closure device on a closed road. Motorists who drive around signs or move barricades are unnecessarily endangering their lives and taking serious risks.
For emergency assistance call 911.
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