Turn around, don’t drown: New signs flood New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Expect to see signs popping up soon in some of the worst flood-prone areas, and they’ll catch your attention as you drive by or consider making a decision about crossing when water is covering the road.

The words of warning can mean the difference between life and death: Turn around, don’t drown.

“People underestimate the power of water, and they misjudge how deep it is,” said David Turk, chairman of the New Mexico Floodplain Managers Association. “In New Mexico, you can have a wall of water come out of seemingly nowhere,” he said.

“Statistics show that over half of the deaths from flooding happen in cars,” Turk said.

“The idea is to have them installed before the monsoon season, but it looks like here in New Mexico, the rains have come early, which is good, but we really have to make sure people are safe and their property,” he added.

“In New Mexico we’ve had several deaths where we’ve had people drive across flooded waters, and their car has been swept away unfortunately,” Turk noted.

All it takes is two feet of rushing water to carry away most cars. Besides risking your life, you’re chancing a lot of costly damage to your vehicle.

Tyler MacMaster said he dealt with water worries last year. “Alameda floods out quite a bit. I’ve gotten my car stuck on Alameda.”

“Right when I drove through it, I could feel my car wanted to lift off the ground, kind of float away,” he said.

“Hope it works it out for sure. People definitely need to be aware,” MacMaster said about the campaign.

Turk said 100 signs will be put up across New Mexico as part of a state and FEMA grant.

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