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1:55 pm
Wed October 7, 2009

Fire Department Issues Flood Advice

Tulsa, OK – According to the National Weather Service, Tulsa and surrounding counties are in a Flood Watch area through Friday afternoon, October 9th. The Tulsa Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to warn citizens about the dangers of flash flooding. What most citizens don't realize is that an average of 200 U.S. citizens drown every year from flash flooding. That is more than airline accidents and domestic terrorism. Flash flooding is the most dangerous weather related killer, ahead of earthquakes, tornadoes and hurrincanes. The most common cause of drowning during flooding conditions is when people try to drive through flooded areas and become trapped within their vehicle or their vehicle is swept off of the road. Unfortunately drivers often ignore warnings not to drive through deep water, resulting in fire department rescue. Water rescue is the second most often performed rescue for fire departments, right behind vehicle extrication. According to Darren Stefanek, Manager of Street Maintenance for the City of Tulsa, the following are the most frequently flooded streets in Tulsa.

4300 South Sheridan
18500 E 41st Street
20100 E 11th Street
1800 N Mingo Rd
2900 N Garnett
11000 E 36 Street N
5500 N Mingo Rd
100 West 81 st Street
8600 South Elwood
30 th and S Riverside Drive
800 N Lewis 6200 to 6400 S Lewis
Cameron and Denver Ave

Please warn all followers to heed these warnings.

First, never drive through a roadway in which you cannot see the surface of the road. Water as shallow as 6 inches will stall most vehicles, water around 2 feet deep will wash most vehicles, including SUVs, off of a roadway.
Second, if you encounter water flowing across the roadway, immediately turn around and find another route.
Third, Stay away from underpasses. Underpasses can fill rapidly with water, while the
adjacent roadway remains clear. Driving into an underpass can quickly put you in
five to six feet of water.
Fourth, if you find yourself stalled in rising water, if you can safely do so, immediately exit your vehicle and proceed to higher ground. Remember though, that a current flowing at 6mph pushes against a person with a force of 134 pounds, but a current flowing at 12 mph will be pushing against a person at 538 pounds. If you don't feel that you can safely exit your vehicle, stay in your vehicle and immediately call 911 and give your exact location.
Finally, NEVER go around road barricades warning of high water. The City of Tulsa installs these barricades to protect their citizens. Please heed these warnings and let's all get through another possible flood situation safely.