Staying safe on the road

As rainfall continues to increase, so does the likelihood of hazards in the roadway.

The Gulf Coast has seen over three inches of rain since Thursday with two to three more inches expected through the start of the new year. Heavy and constant rainfall can cause more problems than just getting you wet. Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said, “When we have the rains that we’ve had the area gets saturated and these runoffs, the ground can’t absorb it any longer so it starts building up and we get these roads that are flooded and property that is flooded.”

Bad weather can also negatively affect driving as car accidents are more likely to happen when weather is at its worst. “Your vehicle is not going to stop at the same amount of distance on a wet road as it will on dry road yet people continue to drive as if they’re on dry road and that’s dangerous,” said Sullivan.

Another consistent issue seen by Sullivan and the fire department is driving around barricades, which seems to happen more than it should. Barricades are placed up during inclement weather, signaling the presence of high water on the roadway. “We highly recommend that people do not go around barricades. If the barricades are up, assume that is it flooded, know that it is flooded and we will take the barricades down as soon as we feel that it is safe.”

As the weather continues to worsen, Sullivan stresses the importance of staying up to date on the always changing conditions through your local environmental management agency, they send out alerts on social media and the radio. You can also stay safe by downloading the WXXV weather app which you can download here. “Getting the projections ahead of time really helps people plan on what they need to do and how they need to respond to the weather.”

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