Drive safely in the rain

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- As you all have seen, it can rain in San Angelo! Unfortunately, one of the problems with getting rain in San Angelo is poor drainage and flash flooding.

San Angelo received more than four inches of rain last weekend. We owe this bit to Tropical Storm Erin, which by Aug. 17 had claimed seven lives in Texas. Hurricane Dean is currently bringing more rain to Texas as it traveled into the northern area of Old Mexico. We've had a wet August.

We do need the rain, but with it comes a price: flash flooding!

Be especially cautious near flood-prone areas along the Red Arroyo at Southwest Boulevard near the South Loop; along College Hills Boulevard; along Sul Ross Boulevard and at the Intersection of Spaulding and North Archer.

Another bad spot is on Bell Street, southbound between Pulliam and Koeberlin. The water at this point can be a foot deep at times and will rush off the roadway into a large open drain, big enough to drive into but not get out of without a tow truck.

West Avenue Q is the short street that connects Chadbourne with Knickerbocker. As you make the turn onto West Avenue Q from Chadbourne, you encounter a steep dip and you will notice a depth gauge. When San Angelo encounters heavy rains it is not out of the ordinary to see as much as five feet of water at this point. It's probably best to use an alternate route.

During heavy rains the local police department and fire department will put out barricades at these high water points. Do not go around the barricades! They are in place for your safety - it only takes two feet of rushing water to move the average automobile.

About three years ago the city got fed up with people going around the barricades and getting stuck and tying up valuable resources. If you bypass the barricade and get stuck you will be fined. In addition, you will pay for the services rendered to get you out of the deep water. One person allegedly wrote the city a check for $2,000 for services rendered. An alternate route is a lot cheaper.

Another note here is that when it is raining and you are using the windshield wipers, state law says you are supposed to have your headlights on. It's a visibility issue.

So take the high road, avoid those deep water areas, slow down and stay safe. Better safe than sorry!