Do Not Drive Through a Flooded Underpass

One of the reasons Chicago is a desirable place to live is our lack of extreme circumstances.  There are no hurricanes, earthquakes, land slides, wildfires, avalanches or tsunamis.  There are no volcanoes in the area.  We do not have to worry about scorpions, snakes, bears, or alligators.

We have tornadoes.  But unless you live in a far outlying area they are not likely to be an issue.  Tornadoes do not come into the City very often.

And yes, the winters can be cold.  At times they can be downright severe.  If a bad enough storm comes through simply driving on the streets can be a difficult task.  But that does not happen terribly often.  And to compensate our summers are comparatively mild, definitely more pleasant than being in the Arizona desert.

We also have a huge natural water source.

One thing Chicago does have to worry about, however, is heavy rain and flooding.  Those who are newer to the area may not be aware of this.  If you have doubts ask anyone who lives near the Desplaines River.  Or those with homes on the lakefront.  2019, according to NBC 5, was the third wettest year on record.  It showed.  Water was lapping over the edges of Belmont Harbor and the Lincoln Park rowing lagoon.

The number one thing to avoid after a night, like last night, of heavy rain is driving through a flooded underpass.  If you misjudge how deep the water is your vehicle could become disabled.  The Cook County Department of Transportation said that six inches of water could cause a loss of control or stall many vehicles, while a foot of water may cause some vehicles to float.

Even if you make it through, as the person in our video above did at Irving Park Road and Lake Shore Drive, there can be damage.  Driving through water high enough to splash or flood your alternator could cause it to malfunction.  Water, probably quite dirty, could get past your door seals and soak the interior.

If you come upon a flooded underpass, even if you are in a hurry, turn around and find another route.  It is not worth risking significant damage to your vehicle.

© 2020


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