LAWRENCE - Rising temperatures and heavy rain  caused a rapid thaw of the snow and ice on Tuesday, which caused flooding on many roadways throughout Van Buren County.
    The Van Buren County Road Commission on Tuesday issued a reminder to drivers to be alert and consider the danger caused by water over the road.  It is often difficult to distinguish between water over the road, and pavement at dusk, or in darkness.  Water over the road, at any depth, can hide dangers such as washed out pavement, or storm debris.
    “When the ground is frozen and becomes saturated from rainstorms, water can rapidly accumulate on roadways making driving conditions difficult, to say the least,” said Lawrence Hummel, Van Buren County Road Commission Engineer-Manager.  “Water may be where you least expect it.  Many roads have been closed due to standing water.  When roads are closed due to water over the road, do not ignore these important signs.”
    The Road Commission offered the  following  tips:
    •Even a small layer of water over the road can cause vehicles to hydroplane leading to loss of traction and loss of control;
    •Keeping culverts and drainage ditches clear of obstructions will help keep water off road surfaces.  Report any such obstructions as soon as possible to the Van Buren County Road Commission;
    •From dusk to dawn following a heavy rainstorm, drivers should avoid low areas where water collects over the road;
    •When roads are closed due to water over the road, do not  ignore these important signs;
    •As little as six inches of moving water is enough to carry away a small vehicle;
    •If your vehicle stalls in moving water, experts recommend abandoning the vehicle, being careful not to step into a flooded ditch.
    Other factors to consider regarding a flood, or potential flood conditions are the following:
    • “Flood Watch” means that there has been enough rainfall to cause potential flooding;
    •”Flood Warning” means some level of flooding has been confirmed;
    •Flash Flood" means that the water can rise quickly, without warning, making driving very dangerous.
    Hummel said, “Remember, your life and the life of your passengers depend on your heeding water over the road and ‘Road Closed’ signs, and making safe driving decisions.”

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
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Paw Paw, MI 49079
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