Walker County firefighters rescue motorist trying to cross flooded river


WALKER COUNTY, Texas – Another driver has misjudged water depth and current on the Trinity River in Walker County.

Rescue crews got the call around 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning. A stranded motorist called 911 saying his car had stalled and was filling up with water.

A team of rescuers were able to get the motorist, who had made it to the top of his car, by boat and remove him from danger.

This is not the first time the river has risen over the banks, and each time at least one motorist has driven around the barricades and gotten trapped by the current.

Drivers often underestimate the power of floodwater. Emergency crews insist that drivers should always turn around when they see water running across a road.

The New Waverly Volunteer Fire Department has provided these rules for driving in flood conditions:

• Six inches of water can cause tires to lose traction and begin to slide.

• Twelve inches of water can float many cars. Two feet of rushing water will carry off pickup trucks, SUVs and most other vehicles.

• Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing bridge.

• In flash floods, waters rise so rapidly they may be far deeper by the time you are halfway across, trapping you in your vehicle.

• Flash floods are especially treacherous at night when it is very difficult to see how deep waters may be or how fast water is rising.

• Floodwater weakens roadbeds. Drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the weight of the vehicle.

Lives can be saved every year if Texas drivers follow this one simple rule: when there’s water on the road, “TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN."