TADD Smart Decision in Maine
Every day for six years, Barbara Gillibrand, pictured below, has driven the 20 miles on the same county road to work in Kennebunk. On a Wednesday in March 2010, her routine was interrupted.
“It rained steadily all day Tuesday,” stated Barbara. “On my way home from work I wondered what the roads might be like the next morning especially near a creek that I usually cross.”
A major rain storm brought heavy rain and flooding to parts of New England. Flood warnings and advisories were posted from the Carolinas to Maine.
“Tuesday night it rained ungodly. It was all you could hear,” according to Barbara. “Driving to work the next day, I approached Chicks Creek on Emerys Bridge Road in South Berwick and I noticed water across the road. I could still make out the yellow line in the middle of the road, but I stopped because I didn’t know how deep the water was and I also thought about the road erosion I had seen the last time this area flooded. Then I saw some big brush and things coming down the creek and across the road. That was enough for me. Over the years, I had seen and heard the Turn around Don’t Drown safety promotion so I instinctively turned around and drove to work another way.”
Barbara did the right thing. Each year, more than half of all flood related deaths are vehicular related. People think they will safely navigate their car, pickup or Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) across a flooded road way. Some people do. Many do not. Many need to be rescued or worse.
The National Weather Service promotes a national campaign called, “Turn Around Don’t Drown" (see highway sign at right) to warn motorists of the hazards of driving across flooded roads. From Missouri, to Mississippi to Maryland, all across the country, yellow diamond-shaped Turn Around Don’t Drown warning signs, sanctioned by the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, are being posted.
“I was late for work”, stated Barbara, “but at least I was safe!”