FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 07, 2018


Drivers Are Advised: “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” When Approaching Flooded Roads

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Fire Safety is issuing a reminder to adhere to flooding advisories during severe weather. Recent storms have resulted in an increased danger of flooding, especially flash flooding which occurs because of heavy rain associated with a sudden downpour.

The Division cautions both motorists and pedestrians of the dangers associated with flooding. People often underestimate the force and power of water. Failing to evacuate flooded areas, entering waters, or remaining in the area after a flood has passed can result in injury or death. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other storm-related hazard. Often, the state corps of fire-rescue personnel conduct emergency aid to evacuate residents threatened by flooding.

“As little as six inches of fast moving water is enough to knock down an adult,” notes Richard Mikutsky, Director of the New Jersey Division of Fire Safety and Acting State Fire Marshal.

Mikutsky adds that over half of all flood-related drownings occur because a driver attempted to negotiate flood waters, believing the weight of their vehicle would keep them anchored. However, aircraft carriers weighing nearly 100 thousand tons float. Vehicles, like ships, are no different because of buoyancy.

Mikutsky notes some things to keep in mind the next time there is a sudden downpour:

  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pickups.
  • Just a foot of water will float most other vehicles.
  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most vehicles causing loss of control and possible stalling.

The Division of Fire Safety serves as the central fire service agency in the State. The Division is responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, as well as for implementing community risk reduction and firefighter training programs. 

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Tammori Petty
Lisa Ryan
Gina Trish
(609) 292-6055