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It isn’t quite time for storm spotter training, but it will be coming very soon!

I realize this is posting a few days after the fact, but it still has relevance.

Our February weather has been odd for Southeastern Wisconsin, but I am loving it. Overnight we had some thunderstorms that dropped a lot of rain. I, for one, am REALLY glad it wasn’t snow.  Holy smokes!  We would have been buried!

I am the first to admit that I am far from a perfect driver.  However, if the road is blocked off by barricades that say Road Closed – High Water, I stay off of those roads.  Having lived along the Root River for several years, this is a common occurrence for us.  She runs along both sides of the road, and she easily goes over her banks by us.  When the county puts up their signs, it is  for good reason.

What amazes me is how often I see people go around the signs, go speeding down the road – which I do not do even in good weather due to the number of deer that we have living near us – and then slam on the brakes when they get up to the standing water.  Did the driver not see it as he/she maneuvered around the barricades?  Were the signs put up just for the heck of it?  I’m sure those county workers had nothing better to do!

Seriously though – in our area, we have seen the road wash out.  We have seen standing water close the road for days.  There are some very large pot holes that fill with water not to mention the water that is standing on the road deep enough to cross the entire road.

There is no way I would drive down the Root River Parkway if it is closed due to high water. Nor any other road for that matter.  I have had car damage done due to high water.

If nothing else, please learn from this!  We were coming home from a trip up north and hit bad weather.  We had pulled over for a bit, but when the rain slowed down we took off again.  We had just pulled back onto the interstate when our weather radio went off. It was very shortly after a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued, so we knew what was next.  Yep, tornado warning.  It was dark, and they were reporting there was possibly a rain wrapped tornado.  Cars lined the side of the interstate.  I didn’t feel safe pulling off there anyway, so we went to the next exit. It was raining so hard I could barely see past the hood of the CRV.   We were on the off ramp to go to a hotel to find safety.  We hit water.  DEEP water.  I could feel it on the floor boards.  I never saw it coming. There was no warning.  We got through it.  Thank God the CRV sits up higher because I don’t think a car would have cleared that.  We stopped at the hotel for a while and hung out there until the storm passed.  We never saw the tornado thankfully (or a bummer for Tim).  When we got close to my Mom’s house, we could  hear a scraping noise.  We found a piece of metal was dragging along the road.  Upon further inspection the next day from our neighbor who is a mechanic, it was determined that the water we had driven through ripped off one side of the heat shield. The rivets were completely gone.  $300 in car repairs later, we were good to go. Thankfully it wasn’t worse than that and nobody got hurt.

Water over a road is nothing to mess with.  You can become stranded.  Your vehicle can be damaged. You run the risk of not being able to get out of  your car.  What if you have kids/pets with you?  What about them?

Please follow the advice of the signs.  Stay safe!  You never know what, if anything at all, is under all of that water.