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Ask a Trooper: Do not drive on a flooded road, even if water appears shallow

Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle
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Question: With spring being here and the melting snow, can you talk about what a person should do when coming across water on roads?

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
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Answer: Flooding can occur when streams and rivers flow over their banks, when dams or levees break, when there is runoff from deep snow or any time there is heavy rainfall.

Floodwaters can be found on roads, bridges and low areas. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.

  • Do not drive through flooded areas. If you see a flooded roadway ahead, turn around and find another route to get to your destination.
  • Be cautious, especially at night, when the visibility is limited.
  • Remember, 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or possible stalling.
  • Two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
  • Even if the water appears shallow enough to cross, do not attempt to cross a flooded road. Water can hide dips, or worse, floodwaters can damage roadways by washing away the underlying road surface.
  • If there is no other route, proceed to higher ground and wait for the waters to subside.
More from Sgt. Grabow:
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us
Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

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