Heavy rain began flooding some San Antonio streets early Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson from Bexar County says that they spent much of the week preparing for possible floods. Crews cleared debris from drainage areas, and barricades were placed along some streets.
“With water, you can never tell,” said Monica Ramos from Bexar County. “The best thing to do is just stay away.”
Flashing yellow lights warn drivers of high water. Also, barricades signal that a road is closed, and illegal to drive on.
As of Friday evening, there had already been at least 2 water rescues from people driving around barricades.
After emergency crews had left the scene of a water rescue along Old O’Connor Road Friday evening, we noticed even more cars try driving through the area illegally.
We were able to stop some, but other drivers ignored us.
“It wasn't bad at all,” said one driver. “You know it's illegal, right?”, we responded. “The thing was open,” said the driver referring to a barricade. “Someone illegally moved that,” we said. “Oh. I didn't know,” said the driver.
“You know it's illegal to drive around those barricades?”, we asked a second driver. “Oh, I didn't know that,” the driver responded. “I'm taking my GPS to a friend’s house.”
Throughout the next 10 minutes, we witnessed at least 5 vehicles drive on a road that looked like a river.
A spokesperson from the San Antonio Fire Department provided the below statement regarding this weekend’s weather.
“With storms predicted for this weekend, and the potential for heavy rain, The San Antonio Fire Department cannot stress the "Turn Around, Don't Drown" message enough,” said Joe Arrington from SAFD. “Even in relatively shallow water, tires can act as flotation devices lifting up even large vehicles and sending them downstream. Your vehicle may stall out in just a few inches of water and a foot or two of water is enough to float a 3,000-pound car.”
“Driving through flooded roadways not only puts your life at risk and anyone in your vehicle, but also the lives of our first responders. Driving around a barricade when there is water on the road carries a maximum penalty of $2,000 and 180 days in jail and if a rescue is required, everyone in the vehicle may be charged a fee of $640.00.”