Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tips for driving through Tampa Bay's flooded streets

Tropical Storm Debby has flooded streets throughout the Tampa Bay area, creating havoc for motorists.

The best thing to do is avoid driving through floodwaters at all. "It doesn't take real deep water to cause an engine to stall, especially with today's cars being so close to the ground," said Max Lewis, manager of Downtown Auto in St. Petersburg.

But if you must drive, here's advice to keep from getting stuck:

• Keep an eye on the car in front of you, to get a sense of how deep the water is. "If it's touching the bumper, don't go," said Lewis.

• Proceed as slowly as possible, with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake. Pump your brakes to keep them dry.

• Driving fast might seem like a good way to get through high water, but you actually run the risk of sucking more water into the engine.

• If it's a two-lane street, drive in the center of the road if possible, taking turns with motorists in the other direction. That's the crown of the road, its highest point.

• If your car stalls, it likely will not start back up. "If it does, it's luck or a fluke," Lewis said. You may need to proceed on foot.

• If you've driven through an area that's been flooded with brackish or saltwater, you should have your vehicle's undercarriage washed.

Tips for driving through Tampa Bay's flooded streets 06/25/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 25, 2012 12:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'


    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store


    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.