New Markers Warn Drivers of High Water in Potential Flood Areas

Hamilton County recently installed five signs with measurements that allow drivers to see how high the water has risen. Some past flood-prone locations in the township that have new markers include Debolt Road at Clear Creek, Eight Mile Road near Bridle, several locations on Sutton Road south of Eversole, and on Berkshire Road between Maddux Drive and Clough Pike. 

Anderson Township Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Ober noted that residents should follow the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” slogan when confronted with high water on roadways. 

“People are not as cautious as they could be when it comes to high water,” he said. “We want to alert our residents to the dangers out there. When it comes to high water, you can’t see how deep it is and you can’t always know what is in the water,” he said. “This is even a greater concern in flash floods from storm events, with brisk moving water, and these situations do not afford time to advise motorists or erect signs.” 

Traffic Engineer Jeff Newby with the Hamilton County Engineer’s Office noted depth gauges also will assist to determine if an emergency vehicle is able to drive through that section of roadway that is covered by water. “As a reminder no vehicle should drive on a roadway that is covered by water, no matter what the depth is.

More deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather-related hazard, Ober noted and over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood waters. “People continually underestimate the force and depth of floodwaters,” he said. 

In Anderson Township in the past 15 years, there have been 22 rescues on roadways due to high water. 

The cooperative effort between the township and the Hamilton County Engineer’s Office comes after a relatively new statute went into effect prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle on or onto any location that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level. The statute allows for an up to $2,000 fine to be levied against a motorist driving through a marked flooded area.