‘Turn Around – Don’t Drown’ campaign
coming to Western Kentucky
Pilot project features warning signs in selected, flood-prone locations in McCracken County
GRAND RIVERS, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2010) – "Turn Around – Don’t Drown," a national campaign for awareness of the dangers of driving into high water, is coming to western Kentucky with placement of special warning signs on selected state highways in McCracken County.
The signs are a cooperative effort of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, National Weather Service in Paducah, McCracken County Emergency Management Agency and the Shadow Angel Foundation, which funds weather-related safety projects. The signs will be placed along highways in six flood-prone areas identified by McCracken County Emergency Management.
According to Rick Shanklin of the National Weather Service, floods on average kill 127 Americans each year – far more than lightning, tornadoes or hurricanes. Four of every five flood victims die after walking or driving into moving water.
“These signs are designed to remind motorists to avoid driving through floodwaters. ‘Turn Around – Don’t Drown’ is to help improve safety. While these signs are only going up at six locations now, we’re optimistic we can obtain funding for more locations in the future,” Shanklin said.
The signs were introduced today at the National Weather Service Winter Weather Workshop in Grand Rivers. Chuck Geveden, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, said the signs originated in Texas and are spreading to other parts of the country on an experimental basis.
“This is the first application of ‘Turn Around – Don’t Drown’ warning signs in Kentucky,” Geveden said. “Beyond providing a safety reminder at these specific locations, we believe these signs will provide a timely message for motorists to carry with them whenever they encounter water over the road.”
The Shadow Angel Foundation is funding the signs. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will install them.
“Our goal is to raise the awareness of dangers posed by flooded roads,” said Beau Dodson, of the Shadow Angel Foundation. “Our hope is that people who see these signs on a regular basis will file away that safety message and remember it any time they encounter a flooded roadway.”
Dodson noted that, much like other safety efforts, the “Turn Around – Don’t Drown” Campaign requires a long-term commitment to an important safety message. His goal is to add the signs at additional locations around the region in coming years. WPSD-TV Local 6 will assist the Shadow Angel Foundation by helping promote the TADD campaign in the Paducah area.
Motorists who encounter water covered roads are advised to follow these basic safety rules:
- Monitor NOAA weather radio or reliable news source for weather information.
- If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons and washes.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if water is flowing. Do not attempt to cross an overflowing stream.
- Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Do not camp or park along streams and washes, especially in threatening conditions.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
More information can be obtained at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tadd/ or by going to www.shadowangelfoundation.org.