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Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has reminded drivers to take care when driving on roads potentially affected by flooding.

It says a number of calls have been received today, 22 November, from people who have driven into floodwater and then got stuck. Two rescues have been carried out.

With bad weather likely to continue over the weekend, the Service says it is keen that drivers recognise the dangers of surface water on the roads.

Area Manager Kathy Collis said: ‘Very often, surface water doesn’t appear very deep but there can be unseen dips in the road which then catch drivers unaware. There is also a risk of drivers in larger vehicles driving through water without dropping their speed, which then creates a ‘bow wave’ effect – and this can cause significant risks for other vehicles. While this wet weather continues, please drive to the conditions and be particularly cautious at fords, where water levels can rise a lot in a short space of time.’

If you are travelling through areas affected by flooding, please follow this advice:

  • Wherever possible, don’t drive through standing water – as well as the water damaging your car, there may be hazards under the water you can’t see.
  • If you see a sign to say that the road is closed due to flooding, remember the sign is there for a reason. Don’t try to drive through or you might get stuck.
  • If you are driving a larger vehicle, do not go through flood water at speed as this creates a ‘bow wave’ that can then cause flooding to other vehicles or adjacent properties.
  • When driving, if heavy rain is making visibility difficult, pull over if possible.
    Remember that roads will be slippery during wet conditions.
  • Don’t try and walk through floodwater that is above knee level, as the force of the water could easily knock you off your feet. There is also a danger of open manholes, trenches or other hazards that you can’t see.

The service advises drivers to  check their  route before setting off, and allow extra time for any necessary diversions.

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