East Texas Rescuers give tips on escaping from flooded cars - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas Rescuers give tips on escaping from flooded cars

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) -  The soil is sodden, the rainfall is relentless, and last night's storms all across Texas left several cars sailing down roadways.   

"We've had to pick up several people that were stranded in their vehicles," said Steve McCool, Lufkin Fire Marshal. 

This is a frightening dilemma that hundreds have encountered over the past weeks. It even took lives nearby during the Houston storm.

"They think they can probably make it," said Steven Arreguin, a Nacogdoches Fire and Rescue officer. 

Officials say the biggest mistake drivers make is continuing to drive assuming they can make it through high water.

"They are underestimating the water flow and depth," McCool said. 

"Turn around don't drown is what we like to say," Arreguin said. 

With the constant flow of rain here in East Texas, we asked what exactly one should do if he finds himself past the point of return in high water.

"If the water is rising, you want to get on top of your car, and seek higher ground," McCool said. 
"The higher the water, the harder it's going to be," Arreguin said. 

Officials say just one foot of water will float most vehicles, and two will carry them away.  If water enters your car while it's stationary, it's best to stay on the car.

"If your car does start to move and you do have to get off your car, swimming is your last resort," McCool said.

McCool says if you end up swimming, not to go against the current.

"When you get out, you step here and water is going to be flowing down. It could easily drag you into the water system," McCool said. 

He says the water is easy to drown in because of its strength and swiftness. Officials say one should keep his phone dry to make emergency calls.  

"We have a swift water team that's also on standby," Arreguin said.

"Have a backup plan. A cell phone is a good one," McCool said.

The only sure way to avoid all this is to heed the warnings beforehand. 

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