Editorial: 'Turn around, don't drown,' and other ways to exercise caution during bad weather

During many a July in Carroll County and throughout the region, the biggest concern about roadways is how scorching hot they get from the sun beating down on them as the temperature dances around the 100-degree mark. But that certainly hasn’t been the case recently.

The area has been on a near-constant flood watch since Sunday with rain, rain unwilling to go away, producing torrential downpours at times. Some 6 inches fell over the weekend in parts of Carroll and those numbers continued to rise on Monday and Tuesday with more expected Wednesday.


All the precipitation can create a dangerous situation on the roads in the form of flash flooding or water damage. We urge all drivers to be cautious. Wet roads are dangerous roads, particularly when the speed limit isn’t followed. Stay off the roads if you can until the weather turns. If you must drive, be alert and on the lookout for downed trees or water over roads.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency reminds residents to be ready for anything.

“We have been seeing severe weather across the state over the past few days, including flash flooding and strong storms, with the potential of more to come,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a news release put out by MEMA on Tuesday. “Please take extreme care if you must travel, be sure to follow all local weather warnings.”

The Maryland State Highway Administration reported numerous of weather-related road closures Tuesday. Several roads were washed out Tuesday morning in northern Carroll and still closed late Tuesday, including Miller Station Road at the Baltimore County line to Meandering Drive; Roller Road at 5293 and Grave Run; Kern Road at 4812; and Lineboro Road East at 5575 to Shaffer Mill Road and Shaffer Mill Road at Grave Run. (Falls Road between 4244 and 4445 and Hoffmanville Road at Alesia to Alesia Lineboro were also closed for several hours before reopening).

The National Weather Service has indicated a risk for excessive rainfall and a flooding risk for the entire state. This could include water over roads, stream and river flooding, and the potential for damage to buildings in areas that receive localized, extreme rainfall.

According to MEMA, residents can be weather prepared by ensuring that they know how to receive warnings, following safety tips, and taking the following actions:

  • Never enter an area where water is flowing over a road and you cannot see the pavement. During flooding, turn around, don’t drown.
  • Continue to closely monitor weather forecasts and follow all advice from local officials and emergency managers.
  • Keep communications devices charged during storms so that you will have a way to follow weather forecasts and communicate with your family, friends, and neighbors.
  • If a severe thunderstorm or flash flood warning is issued or you are experiencing strong winds, get to a sturdy shelter and stay indoors and away from windows.
  • If you hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by a fringe lightning strike. More than 98 percent of lightning casualties are from people outdoors — get indoors or inside your vehicle if possible.
  • Know who to contact in case of a power outage and report power outages to your utilities provider.
  • Document any damages to your home, property, and business and provide this information to your insurance company.

Residents can find additional preparedness information on MEMA’s website at