Friday's rains give Richmond drivers high water commutes - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Friday's rains give Richmond drivers high water commutes

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Knowing what to do before you approach high water could save your life.

Friday evening, VDOT closed Route 60 at Landing Road in New Kent County due to standing water. Most of the impact was in Tidewater, but with heavy rain still to come, safety officials are putting drivers on notice - if you know a low-lying area is prone to flooding, just steer clear.

Experts say some people misjudge flooded roads and try to drive through when they should turn around. On Midlothian Turnpike, area businesses are relieved the formerly flood prone road is safer, but it's a different story further south.

"Raining hard, real hard," said Richard Williams who cuts hair at Mass Flow Barber Shop on Midlothian.

He says the new road fared better than he's used to seeing in the past.

"The roads were terrible, real terrible…floods everywhere. It looked like a fish could swim in there, that's how bad it was," he said.

That's before a major construction project to improve the commute for the many drivers who take this road every day. You may remember the images when navigating Midlothian became a nightmare whenever heavy rain moved in.

"Especially German School Road," Williams said.

There was a dramatic water rescue after several drivers got stuck in the same day just a couple of years ago. It doesn't matter what road you travel, high water can meet you there.

"On a day like today, we certainly could get a call. What we don't want is for the call to have to go to 911," said Martha Meade with AAA.

The organization keeps crews on standby everyday for breakdowns, and the reality that it could happen heightens on days like this.

"Only six inches of water can cause a car to lose control," she said.

With Friday's downpour, any more could wreak havoc. So when in doubt, experts say, don't risk it.

"Half of the people that die in flash floods die in water that they thought they could pass through, but they couldn't," Meade said.

Henrico Police sent out an alert informing drivers to remember the little things, like turning on your headlights, slowing down and following at a safe distance.

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