Anyone who has commuted Bartholomew County’s back roads knows just how little rain it takes to wash them out.
In just a few minutes, a clear street can resemble a busy waterway; forcing motorists to pursue different routes to their final destinations.
Unfortunately, for some, visible flooding and “road closed” signs aren’t enough to deter them from attempting to traverse hazardous conditions.
Last week, the Bartholomew County’s Sheriff’s Department conducted multiple water rescues after flash flooding soaked the region. In some instances, drivers were stranded on top of their vehicles while waiting for airboat extraction.
While the county is fortunate to have the resources to respond to these calls, the situations — often avoidable — put both motorists and rescuers at risk of injury or worse.
It takes just 6 inches of water to cause total loss of control and possible stalling, and a foot of water floats most vehicles.
Bartholomew County’s numerous rivers and creeks, as well as its topography, make for prime flooding conditions — so don’t expect the issue to stop any time soon.
Fines are already in place to address the issue, but the threat of a ticket will never stop the problem altogether: even if local officials decide to bump it to a heftier fine one day.
Motorists need to continue to be reminded of the dangers of high waters, pay attention to which roads often flood, and plan ahead when incoming weather looks unfavorable.
With more rain expected this week, locals need to remember the warning signs are up for a reason.
The “turn around, don’t drown” mantra seems cliche, but the motto needs to be practiced by everyone behind the wheel.
Mother Nature always wins in the end, so don’t challenge her.
Columbus Republic (June 30)