As an urban area, the streets of Las Vegas can flood faster than those in the suburbs. The most experienced personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas – at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez – want you to be prepared for the dangerous and potentially fatal threat of flash flooding. Review the steps now, so you can retrieve the information if and when the sky opens up this summer and catches you unaware.
Heed weather alerts, personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas say
In fact, most people are caught off-guard by flash flooding. Alerts issued by the National Weather Service should be your first cue to pay attention to the threat. “Flash flooding usually begins within six hours, and often within three hours, of heavy rainfall,” The National Service says. Flash flooding is also caused by dam or levee breaks or mudslides, though they, too, are often triggered by heavy rains.
The intensity and duration of rainfall will influence how quickly flash flooding will occur – and where it may occur. Urban areas like Las Vegas, which are covered with concrete and asphalt, offer fewer places for water to go than suburban areas with more vegetation and open land. This is also why flash flooding can be highly centralized – leaving a road completely washed out in one region but merely damp only a few miles away.
The unpredictable nature of flash flooding points up three warnings to heed when you know flash flooding may occur, the cautious personal injury attorneys at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez say:
- Do not drive on unfamiliar roads.
- Do not drive on low-lying roads or those under bridges.
- Do not drive at night, when it’s particularly easy to misjudge the depth of water.
“Turn around, don’t drown!” National Weather Service says
If you encounter water on the road, “the single worst decision you can make in a flash flood is driving your vehicle into floodwaters of unknown depth,” Weather.com says. “Once your vehicle is floating, the floodwater becomes your steering wheel.”
Even a large vehicle or SUV can be swept away by as little as 2 feet of water – or tipped on its side or overturned. In this scenario, try to remain calm and make getting out of your vehicle and reaching higher ground your goal. Then:
- Turn on your headlights and hazard lights so emergency responders can see you.
- Unbuckle your seat belt.
- Unlock the doors.
- Remove outer clothing so it doesn’t become water-logged and drag you under.
- Lower the window, which should be possible unless your vehicle is submerged.
- Alternatively, open the door, which may not be possible until the water pressure becomes equalized inside and outside your vehicle. Eventually, the door will open.
- Swim to safety and call for help.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys in Las Vegas
If your heart is racing just reading these tips, you’ll have a better appreciation for why heeding weather alerts is your best line of defense against getting caught in a flash flood. Your second-best resource? The most skilled personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas at Greenman, Goldberg, Raby and Martinez, whose fundamental mission is keeping every Las Vegas resident safe from accidents and injuries of every type. Call GGRM at 702-388-4476 for a free consultation.