When you see a flooded intersection, turn around!

When you see a flooded intersection, turn around!

By Laurie Merrill / ADOT Communications
August 10, 2021

It’s raining and you’re almost home.

You are about to turn onto a road near your house, when you come to a halt.

There’s storm runoff in the intersection. It looks like a shallow stream.

Should you cross?  

Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

No matter how tired you are, how badly you want to relax or how hungry you are for dinner, there is no creature comfort – or work or family emergency – worth drowning over.  

Nearly half of all flood-related drownings occur when motorists attempt to cross a flooded road and are instead swept downstream, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's not worth risking it. It’s easy to underestimate the force and power of water. It takes just 12 inches of water to carry away your vehicle.

Unless you want to risk paying steep fines in addition to risking your life, don’t drive around a “Road Closed” sign. It’s against the law.

If you survive, you may be cited and ordered to shell out up to $2,000 to any entity that incurs expenses rescuing you. After all, you were warned. 

Here are some other tips from the National Weather Service

* Monitor a news source for vital weather related information.
* Check the AZ511 and ADOT Alerts maps for weather-related road information.
* If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, drainage ditches, canyons, washes etc.
* Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. 
* Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. 
* Do not camp or park along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions. Creeks and streams can rise very rapidly during heavy rainfall.
* Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.

The bottom line: Flood waters are nothing to mess with. It's worth taking a few more minutes to switch your route and avoid driving in running water. It may take longer, but you will reach your destination safely. And maybe get there in time for dinner.   

You can find other rain safety tips on the severe weather page of our website. There’s even more safety advice at and

Here are a few recent ADOT posts about monsoon safety: Get your vehicle in monsoon shapeADOT ready to respond after wildfires and After wildfires, be wary of storm runoff.

And, finally, here's a quiz to test your monsoon knowledge: How well do you know monsoons?

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