7 Feb 2014

Flooded Roads And Stuck Cars

I've just spent the past hour dealing with drivers too unfortunate or thick enough to understand that water and internal combustion engines don't mix.

I had taken the dogs for a walk.  I know the roads are flooded so I lined the boot of the Toyota RAV4 with towels and used that instead of my BMW.

The water on the local roads was about 10 inches deep and seeing as the RAV4 has a wading depth of 20 inches I knew it would be OK.  It was.  The sun was shining and we drove through two areas of flooding, parked up, walked for an hour then came back to the car.

I put the dogs in the car and headed back.  In the first area of flood was a BMW 6-series right in the middle of the road.  It wasn't moving.

Mindful of the ditch (underwater and unseen) at the side of the road I squeezed past the BMW and stopped, wound my window down and asked the woman at the wheel if she was OK.

She wasn't.  The engine had stopped.  She tried to start it again.  Nothing.  She asked if I could give her a lift.  Of course I would.

Not wanting to reverse I carried on, turned around on a dry area and came back.  She had waded from her car to a dry area ahead of it.  She was seriously upset.  She asked if I could take her to her home a mile ahead.

Sure I could.  We set off and came across another area of flood water, which I'd driven through earlier and which I thought was fine.

An idiot in a Waitrose van came steaming through the water the other way, soaking the RAV4.

I carried on but after 50 yards it was apparent we couldn't go any further.  The water was a good 15 inches deep and getting deeper.  We had to turn around.  Luckily there was a junction so I guessed where the road was, did the slowest three point turn in history and went back to where we'd come from.

The Waitrose van had come across the stricken BMW, given it a wide berth, found the ditch and fallen into it.

There were also another 2 or 3 cars and vans piled up waiting to go through the water.

I didn't stop to help the Waitrose driver.  He had a mate in the van, a phone and it was a company vehicle.  It was only a 10 yard wade to a dry section of road.  Besides, he had driven like a complete idiot through the water.

I told the other cars not to bother proceeding, dropped the woman off where she wanted to be then phoned the police and told them to shut the road.

The moral of the story is do not drove through water that you have no idea how deep it is and if you do don't drive quickly, and at least try and stay in the middle so you don't fall into a ditch.

By Matt Hubbard