Eau Claire (WQOW)- Officials want you to remember the phrase “turn around, don’t drown.”
If you see roads washed out with water, don’t drive through them. If authorities have barricaded off a street, don’t try to get around.
Eau Claire County Emergency Management Coordinator Tyler Esh said many people driving their SUV or truck may think they’re okay to go through flooded streets, but it’s not worth the risk.
“It does not take a whole lot of water to wash a vehicle away, and then we either have to do water rescues or we might have a worst-case scenario where we don’t realize or know about it until a few days later, and then there’s a potential for a loss of life,” Esh said.
Esh said you should plan different routes to get where you need to go.
If the possibility of losing your life doesn’t stop you from driving through flooded streets, owner of Adams Automotive Center Bob Adams said you can do some serious damage to your car.
“Not only can the engine be damaged by water coming into the air intake area, it most certainly can do other problems too,” Adams said. “A lot of the electronic controls are located under the hood or in the lowest point of the car, so if the water should happen to get inside into those, they can also short that system out and create a lot of havoc.”
Adams said just four ounces of water can destroy your engine, costing anywhere between $4,000-$10,000 to replace.
He said once the water recedes, it’s not a bad idea to have a mechanic check your car out for potential damage