The reality for us all in Colorado Springs is that floods happen. Many are caused from the burn scars created from the horrific fires from recent years. Who remembers The Gazette reporter’s epic battle with high waters from YouTube or local news? We’re so glad he was OK. With that said, we thought it is a good item to write about so that our friends, customers and neighbors have some items to consider as floods can happen. Aside from those awful events, flooding still impacts our lives and our vehicles even on ‘normal’ days.
Floods aren’t always as dramatic as the images we saw from Waldo Canyon. They can be standing water in a road, a flurry of water coming down a hill, and there are probably many other examples you can think of. Please consider these tips the next time you encounter rising water!
1. Pay attention to water barricades.
Don't EVER ignore them by driving past them. The city, town or a neighbor put them there for your safety. Find an alternative route!
2. Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
According to leading insurance organizations Perkins Motors researched, “The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Attempting to drive through water also may stall your engine, with the potential to cause irreparable damage if you try to restart the engine. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route.”
3. Take extra precautions if you're forced to drive through water.
• Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (a good tip for this is if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).
• Drive slowly and steadily through the water. This is not the time to see what kind of wave you can create.
• NEVER drive in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in — electric current passes through water easily and its impact on you or your car could be devastating. As you know, when it comes to electrocution, there are no second chances.
• Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you're in their path. Think garbage from a neighbor, wood from a fence, nails, tools, or even other cars. Keep an eye out as best as possible.
• If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.
• Stay off the phone unless you must report severe injuries. You can update social media and family when your driving path is clear.
• If you can't restart your vehicle and you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon it for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle.
We are here for you! If your vehicle is damaged from rising water, our team of specialists can fix your car or advise you on your next move. If your vehicle is OK after driving through high water, but maybe the body is damaged from a tree limb, our auto body shop is a 30,000 square foot, 100% controlled environment facility that we’ve had open since 1957. All the work we do comes complete with a 100% lifetime warranty and each year the shop helps over 3,000 vehicle owners. And yes we specialize in fixing water damage.
Be safe out there and if you find yourself in a situation where rising water impacts your vehicle, call us. We will help!
- Crystal Johnston, Director of Marketing.