During this week’s Snoqualmie River flood event, Snoqualmie Fire crews responded to two separate water rescues in the Reinig Road/396th Drive area involving individuals who ignored road closure barricades as flood waters were rising.
Fire Chief Mark Correira said both of these incidents were completely avoidable and unnecessarily put the involved individuals and first responders at risk.
The first incident occurred around 9:30PM on February 28, 2022, involving a vehicle that bypassed a road closure barricade. Rising water inundated the sedan, trapping the occupants. Rescue swimmers safely brought the unharmed individuals to dry ground. Unfortunately, the car could not be towed and later became fully submerged in flood water.
The second incident happened at 10:30AM, March 1, 2022, when a pedestrian attempted to access Reinig Road using the wooded area between the Snoqualmie River and roadway. He became trapped, surrounded by flood water near the Meadowbrook Bridge. Rescue boats were required to safely bring him to dry ground. He was also unharmed.
Chief Correira commented, “People underestimate the force and power of water. Road closure signs are in place to keep you from drowning, as well as our first responders safe. As dramatic as the slogan ‘Turn Around. Don’t Drown’ may sound, it was created to help prevent unnecessary flood-related injuries and fatalities.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood water.
This week's flood water rescues highlight the importance of never driving around barricades blocking flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and only two feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks. It is never safe to drive or walk into flood water.
For more information about flood preparedness, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/water-and-land/flooding/prepare.aspx