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Trooper: Avoid low-lying roads during rain

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Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:52 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Sean Wardwell

Killeen Daily Herald

Nearly two inches of rain is forecast for Central Texas through Thursday, prompting a warning to drivers from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Due to the possibility of flash flooding, a local state trooper is cautioning motorists that even though a low-water crossing may look safe, appearances can be deceiving.

"Even six inches of water can make a car lose traction, while 12 inches can make most cars float, regardless of what it's carrying," said Harpin Myers.

Myers said his department has seen a statewide increase in drivers taking chances when crossing water, especially during heavy storms. "A lot of people take that chance," he said. "Turn around, don't drown."

With storms expected in the area, drivers may have a chance to take Myers up on his advice.

Dennis Cavanaugh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said today's storms could reduce visibility to less than a mile, along with possibly spawning some severe weather.

"The main thing in the Killeen area is there's some low-end threats for tornadoes," said Cavanaugh, pointing out a warm front accompanying the storms meeting cooler temperatures in the area. He added these storms are abnormal for this time of year.

"It's kind of unusual to have dew points this warm moving north in January," he said. "We have a lot of deep Gulf moisture that's basically the kind that we'd get in the spring."

Myers urged all drivers to be aware of their surroundings when driving through storms.

"Water hides things, like potholes or debris in the road" he said. "Be aware of that."

Contact Sean Wardwell at seanw@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7552. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.

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