Flood alert issued for state of Michigan; issues tips for safety

By  | 

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - AAA of Michigan has issued a statewide flood alert because of all of the rain.
There are some things you can do reduce your risk of flooding waters:
Remember most homeowners insurance does not automatically cover flooding, you usually need a separate rider.
You should inspect your sump pump in the basement if you have one to make sure it's working.
If you are preparing to evacuate, bring in your outdoor furniture. And move essential items in your home to the upper floors.
And when driving-- remember the phrase " turn around don't drown" -- don't drive through standing water.
No one can see how deep the water really is and you could get trapped or damage your car.
In some cases it may only take foot or two of water to float your car.

AAA Tips for Driving on Wet Roads
• Avoid Standing Water and Flooded Roads at all Times: There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road and driving through it can cause a vehicle to stall and result in severe damage to the vehicle from:
• Flooding the engine
• Warping brake rotors
• Loss of power steering
• Short in electrical components
• Slow Down and Leave Room: Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as ½ inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway. Also, it is important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
• Avoid Cruise Control: This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.
• Check Tires: Make sure tires are properly inflated and have enough tread depth. This will allow the vehicle to have better traction and maneuverability on the road. Worn tires with little tread are much more likely to hydroplane on wet pavement, resulting in a loss of braking power and steering control. Check the tread depth of your car’s tires by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head at any point, it’s time for new tires.

“Motorists need to exercise extreme caution and slow down when driving on rain-soaked roads,” said Susan Hiltz, Michigan public affairs director for AAA – The Auto Club. “There continues to be a high risk for flooding. If staying off the roads temporarily or minimizing drive time is viable for some drivers, AAA recommends that they exercise that safety option.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes occur each year on wet pavement with more than a half million injuries and 5,700 deaths.”

AAA also recommends that drivers:
• Keep windshields clean, inside and out.
• Keep wipers clean and in good condition.
• Keep headlights clean.