Flash flood season has started early this year. Even California is seeing a rash of heavy rain and even mud slides. This is both horrifying and quite bizarre since we all know that it never rains in California. There was even a song written about it in 1972 by Albert Hammond. But wait … now that I am reading the lyrics, I realize that there’s much more to those lyrics than I remembered …

“Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I often heard this kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girls don’t they warn ya
It pours, man it pours”

So, apparently it does rain in California. Much like Texas, it doesn’t rain for a long time, and then it’s like a monsoon. The news has already been reporting flash floods and cars being washed away with people trapped inside, which is your worst nightmare. My daughter’s new car came with manual windows and locks. Her father said he specifically purchased it this way in the event that, if she drove into deep water, her electrical system wouldn’t be compromised and she could roll down her crank windows and unlock her doors to escape. And, while this sounds well thought out on his part, the car was purchased that way because he’s basically cheap. You realize I’m just kidding, right? (Or am I???)

The misconception is that cars won’t float because they are too heavy. But a car can actually float in less than a foot of water. And large trucks and SUV’s float even faster because their large inflated tires make them even more buoyant. When water is rising fast, it can overtake your car in an instant. So, how do you survive if you get trapped in a flash flood? First of all, if the water is rising quickly, roll the window down so you can escape. Get onto the roof, the highest part of the vehicle. Stay low and hang on. Since the car can flip in only 6 feet of water, you wouldn’t stand a chance if you stayed inside the car.

If this sounds like the scariest situation you could ever find yourself in, the best advice is to just stay out of flooded areas altogether. Even if the water looks calm, the road beneath could be washed out and misleading. If rescuers are dispatched and have to risk their lives to save yours, you could very well be billed for being rescued. Some states call it the “Stupid Motorist Law.”

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Flash Floods and Cars – Comedy Defensive Driving