HAMILTON COUNTY – A Central Indiana community is combating the risk of flooding fatalities by investing in new road signs which will warn drivers of high water.
By the end of the summer, 27 signs that read “Turn Around Don’t Drown” will be placed in high flood risk areas in Hamilton county. The county’s Emergency Management Agency bought the signs with grant money from the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation.
“Flooding is our number one risk,” explained EMA Director Thomas Sivak.
Last April, the county experienced serious flooding issues and two people died when trying to drive through high water.
“If you do see water over the roads, don’t drive through it. Turn around don’t drown,” said Sivak.
The EMA has already started mobilizing and gathering data ahead of the storms forecasted later in the week. Sivak said they will then make decisions on how to pass along alerts and information to residents.
“It’s going to happen,” he said. “So if it happens, what are we going to do to make sure we engage our residents and make sure we’re giving them as much as possible?”
Currently, 90%-95% of the county’s sirens are working properly. The others did not send back a signal during a Severe Weather Preparedness Week test. Those are being worked on.
Sivak insists that outdoor sirens are not enough to save lives.
“Outdoor warning sirens are one piece of the pie,” he said.
He advises people to use weather radios, apps, and keep in touch with the EMA to stay informed of any threats.