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Flash flooding closes roads, strands one motorist

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By Robin Bass

Flood waters closed roads and left one motorist stranded after a thunderstorm Monday evening.

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Spencer County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Martin helped a man get out of his truck as water swept across KY 44/Mt. Washington Road near River Heights subdivision. Martin said the man was attempting to drive through the flooded roadway when his engine stalled.

Martin said even as the rain and flood were subsiding, water still hit just below his knees as he escorted the man to safety.

“He was a big guy. Somebody smaller would have been knocked down,” said Martin.

The deputy recommended that if motorists do find themselves stuck on a flooded roadway, to stay in their vehicle as long as it remains safe to do so.

The best course of action, however, is to never attempt to drive over a flooded road. Drivers can lose control of their vehicles in only one inch of water. Most summertime thunderstorms can easily drop one to two inches of rain in a very short period of time. Accuweather reported that .89 inches of rain fell in the area Monday.

As more rain falls, the danger increses. Six inches of water on the roadway can reach the bottom of most passenger cars and cause engines to stall. If the water is rushing, six inches is enough to push a car off the road way and into a stream or river. Most cars will float in 12 inches of standing water. Heavier vehicles fair better, but drive through two feet of rushing water and motorists will discover that most SUV’s and heavy duty trucks will be carried away.

KY 44 was closed to traffic Monday evening for about 30 minutes while law enforcement officers waited for the flood waters to subside.

“I’ve never seen a flood there, ever,” said Martin. “but it went down pretty quick.”

The intersection at Main and Jefferson streets was also closed briefly during the sudden downpour. No accidents were reported.