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Expert Warns to Drive Cautiously Around Water

April 12, 2011 7:31 AM | News

Vehicles drive through flood water on I-29 near Fargo, N.D. on Sunday, April 10, 2011. (DALE BURGOS / TWITTER)

A water survival expert at the University of Manitoba is warning about taking risks by driving over flooded roadways.

Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, or Professor Popsicle as he’s known, says few people realize a vehicle can start floating in as little as 16-18″ of water.

“Southern Manitoba is undergoing significant road flooding, which presents a potentially fatal scenario for unsuspecting motorists,” Giesbrecht said. “Each year, up to ten per cent of all drownings in North America occur in submersed vehicles, and one tenth of those involve motorists who intentionally drive into floodwater covering roads.”

Giesbrecht suggests if you happen to find your vehicle approaching water, undo your seatbelt and open your windows before reaching the water. That way, if you are wrong and your vehicle does float away, you will be able to exit through the window immediately.

The spring flood has already claimed one life when a Niverville man attempted to drive through a flooded-out road in the RM of De Salaberry.