Severe storms lead to flooded roads in Chattanooga
Hamilton Co. EMS official offers flash flood driving advice to community
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Reports of roads being closed due to the inclement rain spread all throughout the Tennessee Valley from Alton Park to East Ridge.
W. 33rd Street in Chattanooga was just one of several roads that became submerged on Wednesday.
While some drivers braced themselves and crossed, others simply turned away.
In such conditions, Amy Maxwell of Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services advises drivers to do the latter.
“If you can not see the lines that separate one side of the street to the other, then that means that the water is too deep,” Maxwell said. “It only takes a couple of inches of water before you lose control of your vehicle and get swept away. We have seen this in the past.”
In the wake of Wednesday’s storms, Maxwell says there were numerous wrecks as well as several flash floods, particularly off of Brainard Road, Market Street and Long Street.
Additionally, she says numerous vehicles also had to be stranded due to the severity of the flooding on certain roads.
“When you see these flash floodings, please turn around and don’t drown,” Maxwell said. “We’re concerned about your lives. You put yourself at risk, you put your family at risk, you potentially can put damage to your vehicle. You don’t know how deep the water is.”
To stay safe behind the wheel, Maxwell says drivers should give themselves more time than usual to arrive at their final destination.
She also advises avoiding flooded roads.
Turn around to find an alternate route, or simply wait until the water recedes before you proceed.
“If you’re going to be out and about, make sure that your family knows where you are,” Maxwell said. “Make sure that they know about where you’re supposed to be so that if you’re not arriving at that time, they know how to get in touch with you as soon as possible. We just want everybody to arrive safely wherever they have to go.”
At approximately 1:05 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, CDOT had confirmed 12 roads were fully closed due to flooding while another 14 also reported debris in the roadway or limited access.
Maxwell believes that this week, there could be further flash flooding if such storms continue.
News 12 will provide further weather updates as they develop.