Following the overnight flooding in Cornwall, RAC is advising motorists to take extra care on the roads and to avoid flooded areas. The Met Office has also issued severe weather warnings of heavy rain for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole, and motorists are advised to take care when driving in these areas, and consider if travel is essential.
RAC Patrol Ambassador Alan Wilcock says: "Motorists around Cornwall and the South Coast should consider if their journey is really necessary, especially in areas affected by the flooding. If you have to travel, it's important to plan your route to avoid known affected areas – RAC has a route planner on its website to assist you as you plan your journey. Let relatives and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and, where possible, travel with others."
Motorists should monitor local news reports to get up-to-date information on road closures before setting out. Currently, RAC is aware of the following roads significantly affected by flooding:
- A38 – closed in both directions slow traffic due to flooding and landslip between A30 (Carminnow Cross) and A390
- A3058 – Truro Road blocked in both directions, slow traffic due to flooding near A390 Penwinnick Road
- A390 closed in both directions, slow traffic due to flooding between B3360 (East Cornwall) and A391 (Charlestown)
- A39 - surface water in both directions at A386 Heywood Road (Torridge Bridge). Approach with care.
- B3273 Delays and road closed due to flooding on B3273 River Street in both directions between Fore Street and A390 Trevanion Road
Traffic information supplied by Trafficlink.
The following tips should always be followed for driving in flooded conditions:
- Do not attempt to drive through water if you are unsure of the depth – the edge of the kerb is a good indicator
- If you do go through, drive on the highest section of the road
- Drive steadily and slowly so as not to create a bow wave in front of the vehicle and allow oncoming traffic to pass first
- Driving at speed may be dangerous to other vehicles or pedestrians and could cause loss of control
- Never tailgate other vehicles
- Never attempt to drive through fast flowing water – you could easily get swept away
- Test your brakes after leaving flood water
Alan continues: "Carry extra warm, waterproof clothing and suitable footwear should you have to abandon your vehicle and take food and drink with you should you become stranded. Carry a mobile phone with a fully charged battery and car adaptor if available (together with contact numbers if not already stored on the phone). Finally, ensure that the fuel tank is full - being stuck in traffic and use of lights, heater etc all use a lot more fuel so you could run out."
"Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage to your car – motorists are advised not to this. If your engine cuts out after driving through deep water, do not attempt to restart as engine damage may occur – instead call for assistance and have the vehicle professionally examined.
Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road. If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again."