Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Sends Water Rescue Team to South Carolina
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office dispatched its Swift Water Rescue Team to South Carolina on Sunday after FEMA requested more assistance in relief efforts in areas that are impacted by floodwater.
A report by the Williamson Herald says that the team from Williamson County was deployed with other rescue teams from Tennessee to a South Carolina Fire Department Headquarters in Columbia.
South Carolina is experiencing significant flooding due to the impact of Hurricane Joaquin, which has produced record amounts of rainfall in the state with more flooding and rainfall expected in the coming days.
The Swift Water Rescue team will remain in South Carolina for one week as it assists in the rescue and recovery efforts taking place throughout the state. Part of the team’s responsibilities will include reaching and evacuating people who are trapped in their vehicles or homes or have suffered injuries due to the rising floodwaters.
In addition to the team from Williamson County, seven firefighters from the Brentwood Fire Department and Franklin Fire Department will also join in to help the relief efforts in Charleston, South Carolina, this week.
How to Stay Safe When Driving in or near a Flooded Area
The flooding that’s occurring in South Carolina is a tragic reminder of the flood that affected Middle Tennessee in the spring of 2010. After heavy amounts of rainfall, flood waters can rise in a matter of minutes and catch drivers off guard and cause them to become trapped in their vehicles. While the best course of action during heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding is to stay home or in safe shelter, that’s not always possible.
If you have to drive when there’s a possibility of flooding, do your best to remember these safety tips:
- Follow alternate routes and detours.
If you see that a road is blocked or there’s a detour to avoid a stretch of roadway, always follow the advised route and never try to bypass the road block. Road crews close roads that can be dangerous to drivers, and attempting to bypass a road block can put you and your family in significant danger.
- Avoid driving through water that’s more than 12 inches deep.
Fast moving water that’s more than 12 inches deep is enough to sweep vehicles off the roadway and cause them to flip over or even be pushed into deeper floodwaters. If you see fast moving water in the roadway ahead, even if it doesn’t appear to be particularly deep, take an alternate route or head in the opposite direction.
- Drive slowly and cautiously through water if you must do so.
If you have no choice but to drive through water, slow down and drive as cautiously as possible. Before entering the water, check for hazards like downed power lines or large objects that could possibly collide with your vehicle.
- Get out and call 911 immediately if your vehicle stalls or gets trapped by rising water.
Trying to wait out a flood or restart your vehicle if it stalls or gets trapped by rapidly rising water can be put your life at risk. As soon as you notice that your vehicle has stopped running, or that the water level is rising, get out and move to safety as quickly as possible. Then, call 911 to report the incident to emergency dispatchers.
Driving during heavy rainfall is dangerous as-is, but when heavy rainfall turns into flooding, drivers are at serious risk of becoming trapped and even swept away by fast moving and fast rising water. The most important things to remember are avoiding fast moving faster that’s even 12 inches deep and to always get out of your vehicle and move to safety as soon as you notice you’re in danger of becoming trapped.
The Franklin car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know that bad weather can significantly increase the risk of accidents, but the biggest risk still remains bad driving habits. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, get in touch with our legal team today. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.