COLUMBIA, S.C. — Columbia is sharing a list of flood-prone intersections in an effort to give drivers a heads-up ahead of expected rain later in the day.
In a statement released on Friday, the city urged drivers to be cautious while driving in general but suggested that there are several streets and intersections that are "prone to flooding" during heavy rains. In particular, the city said not to attempt driving through flooded roads and intersections or "turn around, don't drown."
"A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds," the city's statement said. "Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles."
There also may be hidden hazards below flood waters such as wash-outs, sharp objects, power lines and dangerous chemicals.
The list included the intersections of:
- Main and Whaley streets
- Gervais and Laurens streets
- Blossom and Henderson streets
- Blossom and Saluda streets
- Harden Street and Santee Avenue
- Harden and Maple streets,
- Two Notch Road and Read Street
- Wheat Street and Amherst Avenue
- Adger Road and Devine Street
- Wheat and Sumter streets
- Wheat and Pickens streets
- Heyward and Ravenel streets
- Barnwell and Pendleton streets
- Harden and Read streets
- Harden and Calhoun streets
- Franklin and Marion streets
- Franklin and Sumter streets
- Columbia College Drive and North Main Street
- Bull and Laurel streets
*Also included is Pickens Street between Wheat and Green streets
The city adds that these areas are known to flood but said that this is largely dependent on storm strength, length of the storm, and its location. However, residents can help lower the chance of a flood by not putting yard debris near drainage structures and making sure they call the city if they see a blocked storm drain. Residents can call the Columbia Public Works Street Division at 803-545-3780 during regular business hours or Customer Care at 803-545-3300 after 5 p.m. and on weekends. Trees down in the public right-of-way can be reported to the Forestry Division at 803-545-3860 during regular business hours or to Customer Care on nights and weekends.
Drivers in heavy rains should also avoid storm-damaged areas and obstructions such as downed trees and power lines. They advise monitoring weather radio, local radio, and television for additional information on safe routes.
The city said it's also important to help those who need it such as infants, children, the elderly, and the disabled during storm-related emergencies.