When flood waters rise in Mississippi, roadways are often impacted.
Monday, a woman died after her car was swept into a flooded creek in Rankin County.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Captain Johnny Poulos said that unfortunately, car submersion during a flood event is a very real possibility if you’re traveling and unaware of the current of the waters crossing the street.
“It is very difficult,” said Poulos. “You have to keep your head about you.”
Poulos said that MHP urges people living in flood prone areas to have a small hammer or glass breaking device in their car in the event that the car is submerged and the window cannot be let down.
Getting that window open could save your life when the car becomes submerged.
“Sometimes the outside pressure of the water against the door won’t let it be opened,” said Poulos. “You have to get the window down to let water in and equalize the pressure.”
Poulos said once the window is down, you can either open the door and swim out, or swim out through the window.
Then, the fight for life continues.
“When you get to the point of swimming, swim in the direction the water is flowing,” said Poulos. “That will help you get to higher ground.”
Fighting against the current, said Poulos, would only further exhaust the body in this situation.
However, troopers warn that if you see water across a road, it is best to turn around.
“It doesn’t take much,” said Poulos. “Water can get into that engine and cause it to stall.. or worse. Unfortunately in flood prone areas we see people who think they know the area and the flooding, and that’s where we see loss of life.”