Whatcom County Wakes Up to Flooded Areas and Stranded Drivers
Whatcom County is prone to the risk of flooded areas, particularly in early fall when rain increases but it is too warm to snow. Certain low-lying areas such as Iowa Street and east toward Mt. Baker Highway may accumulate more flood water, increasing the risk of car accidents and stranded drivers. As reported by Whatcom-News.com, first responders were busy overnight evacuating and rescuing stranded drivers and posting signage on flooded roads around Whatcom County.
The flood was caused by heavy mountain rain and snow melt that pushed the Nooksack River levels into official minor and moderate flood stage in all forks and in the main channel combined with heavy lowland rains through the county that saturated the soil, leaving nowhere for some of the rain to go. The result is surface water and creek and stream flooding; possibly reaching record levels.
Before heading out today, be sure to check your path in order to avoid flooded areas. While the freeway is fine, Meridian Street, a major arterial road, was closed to traffic early in the day along with Iowa Street and some other areas. If you must head out to get to work or to run errands, be careful out there.
If you are in an accident that involves today’s flooding and one or more other vehicles, you may need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to get the settlement you deserve. Contact an experienced Bellingham car accident attorney for a free consultation; there are no fees unless you recover damages.
How does flooded areas increase the risk of car accidents?
Flooding makes it more difficult to drive, delays travel time and increases the risk of accidents. Drivers must adjust their driving behavior and decisions in order to drive safely. Here are several ways that flooding makes driving more difficult:
- Increased pavement friction
- Decreased visibility distance
- Lane obstructions
- Hampered traffic flow because of decreased roadway capacity
How to drive safely through flooded areas
If you have to drive through a flooded area, the best way to stay safe is to slow down and drive on the edge of the water in an effort to avoid the deep center of a puddle.
Speeding through a deep puddle makes a wave that causes water to shoot up, which risks water getting into the vehicle’s intake system and engine. A flooded engine can get hydro-locked, which can kill a motor and cost thousands to replace. A less expensive but still annoying reason to avoid driving fast through deep water is because the force of the water created by driving through it too quickly can rip pieces of protective shielding off the bottom of the vehicle.
Sports cars or modified vehicles should be especially careful in flooded areas as they may have very low air intakes near the front bumper.
If your car stalls in deep water, turn on your hazard lights and call a tow truck. It’s not time to panic yet; you may just need to let the ignition dry out. Once the vehicle arrives at the shop, ask the mechanic to check for a wet ignition before starting any work.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!