Daviess County Fire Department responded to vehicle trapped in flood water in the 9000 block of Redhill Maxwell Road Saturday afternoon. According to Assistant Fire Chief Shaun Blandford, DCFD responds to anywhere between 10 and 20 backwater calls like this per year, with most calls coming in the spring and winter months when water levels rise.
Blandford said the passenger reported he did not see the road closed signs or barriers and drove through the water over Redhill Maxwell Road.
“The problem is when you lose sight of the pavement,” Blandford said, reporting that the passenger from Saturday’s event misjudged the direction of the road and wound up in the adjacent ditch.
Blandford said that while only three feet of water was over the road, there were six to eight feet of water in the ditch that passenger wound up in.
“We launched our small Jon boat into the headwaters and retrieved the passenger,” Blandford said.
Blandford said the situation could have easily been avoided by following the signs placed by the Daviess County road department.
“You have to be vigilant when rain comes. Use common sense and stay alert,” Blandford said.
Blandford also suggests following Daviess County Emergency Management, Daviess County road department and the state highway department on social media for up-to-date information on flooded roads and other warnings.
Keith Todd, public information officer of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said with a lot of territory on the Ohio River and other water sources, he sees a lot of flood-related road closures.
“People think, ‘I can make it through, it’s not that deep,’” Todd said. “But you never know.”
In the 14 years Todd has been in his current position, he said he has seen one fatality a year related to driving in flood water and drowning. In fact, Todd often tells people that flooding accounted for the most weather related fatalities in 2017 nationwide.
“A minor mishap can become very deadly, very fast,” Todd said.
According to Todd, a foot of moving water will push a vehicle off the road and as little as six inches of water can knock a person off their feet.
“People literally get in over their head,” Todd said.