Flooded roads in southern Indiana caused dangerous situations for drivers Friday night and headaches for police and emergency crews.
Trooper Zachary Smith
SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - Flooded roads in southern Indiana caused dangerous situations for drivers Friday night and headaches for police and emergency crews.
Emergency phones lines were lighting up in Clark County as people continued to test their luck driving through high water. In many cases, even when they made it through, they weren't exactly unscathed.
"Unfortunately, we've had a lot of call outs throughout the day due to the high water rising over U.S. 31," said Indiana State Trooper Zachary Smith. Neighbor Gretchen Deutsch was shocked watching the drivers test the high water. She said she doesn't remember it being so high, "I've never seen it this bad before," she said. "Usually after a flash flood you'll see it recede within a few hours."
Getting stuck in high water on a dark morning is understandable. That happened to several drivers caught off guard on their morning commute. But at 4 in the afternoon drivers were back at it, driving right through water on U.S. 31 from Sellersburg to Memphis.
"People will approach the high water and they'll get so far to where it's the point of no return," Trooper Smith said.
Silver Creek flooded county roads too. Signs were clearly up, but apparently many of the drivers couldn't read, driving right past the warnings like they weren't there. The Trooper shook his head, "A high water sign is just like any other traffic sign, a speed limit sign or a no turning sign." What this trooper is saying? You're breaking the law.
Deutsch said of the drivers, "Just seeing some of the people crossing the water, how many times have we heard people say don't do it and look what happens to them." Not only can it hurt you or your family, it can really mess up your car.
A little embarrassed, one driver who flooded out his said, "Once we pulled off the side of the road," he said, "that's when the engine just died and it won't do anything now." To add insult to motor vehicle injury, the guy just got his car out of the shop. "It's frustrating," he said, "pretty frustrating."
Several drivers thought about it, pulling up very close to the water, but they realized it was too high and decided to turn around.
Matt Vaughn is one of them. "The important thing is to put safety first," Vaughn said, "everything else comes second."
Indiana State Police said their website and the Clark County Sheriff's can give you information about local road closures.
Police are hopeful the water will recede in the next 24 hours. Until then? They're hopeful drivers will start using common sense.