Water, Water, Everywhere... DANGER WILL ROBINSON...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

I wrote a post not long ago about how water (uncontrolled) can destroy your house, and how simple things like gutters and paint can protect your investment. 

But this isn't abut anything so trivial... 

Displaced drivewayIf you haven't been paying attention to the news... or you aren't reading this post in mid to late September (2009), we are having some serious water issues here in Atlanta.  The words 100 year flood are making the rounds... and I have NO reason to not believe that.  I have been here 20 years and have never seen anything like this. 

While out and about today, I saw displaced roads, flooded creeks and rivers flowing over bridges.  Those things all happen sometimes, but the word is that there are several HUNDRED roads closed from flooding.  And the rain hasn't stopped. 

Here is the important part...

So far there are six people that have died in the floods.  Most of them have died in their cars.  All of the folks that have died in their cars have died while driving through flooded roadways... and had their cars swept from the road. 

Simply, if a creek or river is FLOWING over the road, do drive through it.  Sure, you MIGHT make it through if the water is low enough.  But you might not.  Is it worth it?  Not for me...  

Stay safe... 

Rough Water CrossingI am perfectly willing to admit that I have taken Jeeps through creeks that were fairly deep.  Even some that were running pretty fast.  But there are a couple of HUGE differences.  With the larger tires and lifted suspensions, the vehicle is well out of the water.  A standard sedan starts getting pushed by the water as low as six or seven inches.  My jeep kept the body clear of the water for almost two feet... 

And then there was a "happening" in Kane Creek in Moab, UT.  Some friends had a Jeep start to float while crossing the rain swollen creek.  The Jeep would have kept floating for a while it not attached by winch cable to a stable object.  As it was, it rolled in the creek, and the driver barely escaped a dunking by climbing out the passenger side and jumping to shore.  The Jeep was totaled.  It could have easily been much worse. 

And stay smart...

Today I saw a car parked in the middle of the road after a deep spot (pooled, not flowing).  The engine may have been toast (we call it hydro-locked.  Water doesn't compress, so if it gets into the engine, bad things can happen.  And the worst thing to possibly do is try to turn the engine over with the starter if it stalls in the water.  Instead, get towed out, and then take out the spark plugs.  Turn the engine over with the starter (watch out, because gas/water may spray out a few feet).  Shoot a little WD-40 in each cylinder and then reinstall the spark plugs.  If there are ugly, unnatural sounds, it might be too late, the damage may already be done. 

Sounds like good reasons to NOT drive in deep water, huh?  Death or mechanical devastation...

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Gary Coles (International Referrals)
Venture Realty International - Las Vegas, NV
Latin America Real Estate


Great post. This warning is important no matter where you live. My office is in Las Vegas in the middle of the desert -- but lots of people have lost their lives in flash floods. The force that moving water exerts is amazing - just look at the Grand Canyon. Often people don't realize how deep and how fast the water is until it is too late. Another thing is the fact that you can't see through the flood water. The road that looks like it is covered with less than a foot of water may be washed out and the next thing that happens is the car drops into a hole several feet deep. I really hope some people will listen to you.

Sep 21, 2009 04:59 PM #1
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

I've heard so much about this.  Even made our local news.  May the force be with you.  Just kidding.  Be safe though.

Sep 22, 2009 01:19 AM #2
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains

Lane:  Being an Atlanta native, I can say I've never seen anything quite like it but close.  I was truly amazed at the pictures on the news of Six Flags.  I've seen it underwater before but not with the roller coaster so submerged.  Your title is perfect!

Sep 22, 2009 03:14 AM #3
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

This kind of thing sadly happens so often in San Antonio. A couple of years ago, a woman got swept away in her SUV at a low-water crossing on a 35 mph road in an actual suburb. So it's not just the country roads that are dangerous.

Stay safe!


Sep 22, 2009 03:44 AM #4
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

Hello Lane,  As soon as we heard the news about the flooding in Atlanta, i headed to Active Rain to get information from someone who was experiencing it first hand.  Appreciate you giving us a closer look, and wish for the best to come out of this.  Hopefully someone will read your post and take heed to your warnings. 


Sep 22, 2009 06:38 AM #5
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I drove during one of our 100 year floods once = not smart!  Y'all stay safe out there!

Sep 22, 2009 03:40 PM #6
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Thanks guys...  We still have some closed roads and there is a lot of damage being cleaned up.  I think the estimates are currently at $500m.  Of course the Mayor of Atlanta is asking for $1b. 

Sep 28, 2009 02:32 PM #7
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