Turn Around, Don't Drown®

image of vehicle in water with barricades in the background

close-up of previous image
Date: September 2011
Case description: A couple traveling from Columbia, Mo., to Lincoln, Neb., drove on several closed local Fremont County roads to reach Iowa 2. The driver maneuvered around a series of barricades during their travels and managed pass the locked gate and road closure signs to get onto the highway. Iowa 2 had been closed since June 2011 due to Missouri River flooding. After traveling on the highway, which was littered with debris, covered by mud and damaged by the flooding, the vehicle occupants reached the area where the water was still flowing over the roadway.

The driver entered the water to test its depth. The rushing water picked up the car and carried it further downstream, landing in what was left of the median of the four-lane highway. The water poured into the passenger compartment. The couple dialed 911, got on the top of their vehicle and waited for rescue. After a week, the vehicle had still not been towed because it was deemed too dangerous since it was unsafe for heavy towing equipment and it was unknown what remained of the roadway that once stood below the flood waters.