The city of Haskell recently received new signs to warn drivers about the dangers of flooding.
City officials plan to place the signs, reading "When flooded turn around don't drown," at Elm Street and another undetermined location. The signs warn drivers about areas where incidences of flooding are high and the onset of flooding is rapid.
"If one person turns around, then it's worth it," said Tabitha Clarke, senior service hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Little Rock.
Clarke, as well as Bill Rusk, representative for the Southeast Regional Arkansas Floodplain Management Association, presented the sign to city officials.
Each year, signs are provided to cities across the state through a partnership between the Arkansas Floodplain Management Association and the National Weather Service.
According to Clarke, flooding causes more deaths than any other weather hazard. Most of these deaths could be prevented as they occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. Many other lives are lost when people walk into or near flood waters.
This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it’s moving, she said.
Most cars can be swept away in 18 to 24 inches of moving water. A person walking or wading through flowing water can be swept off their feet in as little as 6 inches of rapidly moving water, according to the National Weather Service.