Dangers of Driving on Flooded Roads - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Dangers of Driving on Flooded Roads

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When a flooded road is closed, it forces drivers to take an alternate route, but if you see water rushing over a road and it's open, what do you do?

"It's just kind of surreal, considering that we've basically been in a fire warning for the last couple of weeks." says Lt. Norman Ruud, North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Record rain in several areas of North Dakota has some roads looking like this.

"Depending on the depth of the water and the current, that could determine whether they close the road or not."

A flooded section of interstate near Jamestown remained open Sunday, but East Divide Avenue in Bismarck was closed.

So how do drivers know when it's safe to cross?

"Never drive across a roadway that has water on it, the main reason is you don't know if that roadway has been washed out or if the surface on a gravel roadway may be soft, which cause you to become stuck, or stranded in that area." says Lt. Ruud.

There are not many areas of concern right now in the Bismarck region, but responders say that can always change at the drop of a hat.

"We have had in the past where people have driven over roadways and unfortunately it has taken their lives, it's nothing to mess with, you look, at moving water and the size of an automobile there's not a lot of contact point between the tires and the roadway, you start putting water between there, it doesn't take a lot of current to wash a vehicle off the roadway." says Lt. Ruud.

Deep water can also stall your vehicle or worse, so if you have to ask whether it's safe to proceed, troopers say don't do it.

"If you don't have to go through it and there's water on the roadway, just stay put, turn around take an alternate route, notify law enforcement if you do see that, we'll respond to it." says Lt. Ruud.

You can always check out the Department of Transportation website to see if roads are open--or you can call 511.

If you see a washed out road you should call your local law enforcement.

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