Friday, May 29, 2015

I'm unsympathetic

While the Texas floods are a terrible thing, and I feel sorry for these people whose home are flooded, and whose lives are disrupted by the unusual level of rain....I am NOT terribly sympathetic for those people who need to be rescued because their cars wouldn't drive through 2 foot or more of water.

The media keeps referring to the flooded overpasses or other low areas as "flash floods" but they aren't flash floods. I've seen (and barely escaped from) real Flash floods, which are like walls of water....generally where a streambed gets a lot of water quickly, Literally, the area goes from just wet to feet underwater in a matter of moments. Flooded streets and underpasses aren't flash floods.

It isn't a Flash Flood when the water is, essentially, still and you drive your mini-SUV (with about 10" of real ground clearance)  where the air intake is MAYBE 16" off the ground.....into 2 foot of water at 20 MPH..and it isn't a surprise when you "crossover" stops because the air intake is underwater or the ignition is drowned because the water is too high.....I saw a PRIUS drive into water that was at least 18" deep (I own a Prius, and while they are nice cars, they aren't meant for off road nor for more than a few inches of water.....like less than 4 inches at most) and, of course, the car stalled and the person needed to be rescued from the "flash flood".  I watched on live video while a COP drove his Equinox/Traverse into water that was over the hood (still water, not running water) and lo and behold, it did the same thing....died. He had to be rescued from the air.

They oughta leave those idiots in the water for a few hours so they'd learn a lesson.

Hint: Never drive into running water. I have made that mistake crossing a bridge over a flood stage stream in a DIESEL pickup (6800 lbs,16" ground clearance) and have had water (2 foot deep) move me...Imagine what it will do to a 3500 lb car with 8" of ground clearance? And I had an air intake 38" above the ground level and no ignition to short out....

Never drive into water you can't see the bottom of. Ever.

Never drive into water  in a car or normal truck that is more than halfway up your tires. Halfway. no more....

Now, if you have a vehicle designed or modified to ford deeper water, then yes, you can go into water that is still or only slowly moving. If you have a diesel with an air intake that is above the water, and the water is still, then you can successfully enter (and leave)  still water that is below the air intake.

But if you have a simple car (or truck) ....(and yes, and SUV is a truck, at best....and a "crossover" is a car, really) then be aware of the limitations.

Don't be one of those jerks that needs rescuing because you were stupid.

2 comments:

fwrotte said...

It needed to be said and I am glad that you said it. The only thing that I would add is that people who drive into standing or moving water like that not only do not deserve sympathy, they deserve contempt, because they take away resources that should be helping the innocent victims of the flooding.

AndyN said...

I grew up in San Antonio. At either end of a lot of bridges there were vertical poles with the height above the road surface marked at intervals up the length of the pole. You could literally read exactly how deep the water was you were about to drive into.

The fire department down there eventually started billing people for coming to pull their dumb asses out of rivers that they drove into.