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Heed high water warnings
by Chip Latcham
May 03, 2013 | 776 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When heavy rains fell on Beeville Monday, firefighters responded to several calls involving high water rescues.

Fortunately, no one lost his or her life in these hazardous situations, as at least four cars were trapped in the flash flooding.

Thankfully, this city is blessed to have a well-trained, equipped and highly professional volunteer fire department.

In one incident, two occupants were reached by a fireman using his personal truck and were rescued from the rising water.

Firefighters hasten to remind Beeville residents that, whenever several inches of rain falls here in such a short time, the same areas tend to flood and crossing certain intersections can be risky.

Usually these include streets in the south end of town near Poesta Creek, as well as near the First Baptist Church, Moreno Middle School and the intersection of U.S. 181 Bypass and State Highway 202.

City street crews know where those areas are and they set out barricades for a reason. Citizens should never believe it is safe to drive around a barricade and attempt to cross a fast-rising creek or low intersection.

In fact, Texas cities have implemented penalties for ignoring the warning signs. Many people here are familiar with the adage “Turn Around Don’t Drown,” especially in the San Antonio and Hill Country area.

That campaign seeks to make people aware of what can happen when they drive into high water. Engines can stall, and fast-moving water sometimes sweeps cars off the road. People stuck in high water – and their rescuers – may find themselves in danger.

Another way to get their attention is through their wallets. Driving past a barricade onto a flooded road is punishable by a fine up to $500, while moving a barricade carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 and 180 days in jail. Also, if a rescue is required, San Antonio will charge a $1,000 fee.

The City of Beeville and Bee County should implement such a stiff rescue fee and should rigorously enforce these state statutes.

Better to be safe and alive than take an unnecessary risk and cause one or more fatalities.
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