In flash flooding, six inches of water can knock you off your feet

Residents deal with flooding Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in the northwest Las Vegas valley. (Tom Hawley/KSNV)

The worst decision you can make in a flash flood is driving your car into flood waters.

It's easy to misjudge the depth. Often times, people underestimate the power and the force of flood waters.

You may be surprised how little water it takes to sweep you and your car off the road.

"Pretty shallow gets you in trouble really quick,” explained Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Buchanan. "Six inches can knock a person off their feet. Six inches can dislodge tires. 12 inches can move a vehicle."

RELATED LINK | Daring drivers who need flood water rescue can expect bills

It’s why “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” is the mantra of the National Weather Service when flash floods are imminent.

Sky 3 and Tom Hawley captured plenty of people Tuesday morning driving through flooded streets.

Las Vegas resident Maria Esquivel captured cell phone video of drivers going through flooded streets on Durango Drive near U.S. 95 in the northwest valley.

"I’ve lived for for five years and I’ve never seen it rain like it has today,” said Esquivel. "It was pretty scary. People were driving in it and trying to put it in reverse to get out of it because that’s how deep it was."

RELATED LINK | Turn around or pay: Motorists now liable for flash flood rescues

Under a law passed two years ago, any driver who goes around a barricade and into flood waters is liable for the costs, if he or she has to be rescued.

"Hopefully it will be a deterrent. We want people to stay in their homes when there’s flash flood warnings,” said Buchanan. "Whether you’re on foot or in vehicle, please stay at home."

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