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Words to live by

By Staff | Jun 14, 2024

New residents — and even us old-timers — love Florida weather.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature does not always love us back.

As welcome as the start of rainy season always is, it can give a glimpse of the dark side of living in the Sunshine State, especially for those who think they can “drive in anything.”

Here in Southwest Florida, the elevation is both low and flat and the drainage, well, let’s just say that relying mostly on swales and retentions ponds to drain and retain the natural “sheet flow” that comes from heavy regional rains and hurricanes is not the most efficient of systems.

Does it work?

Yes it does.

Does it work quickly enough to prevent short-term street flooding, standing water in front of your house along the roadway and unexpected puddles of surprising proportion here and there?

It does not. At least not always.

This is why inches of hard rain over a short duration can cause dangerous driving conditions and threaten low-lying areas resulting in the occasional state of emergency such as the one declared for South Florida Wednesday night by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The governor cited something that can happen throughout the rainy months — heavy downpours can cause temporary flooding serious enough to impact “the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major interstates, state and county roadways, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure.”

With the “critical infrastructure” of Southwest Florida’s easily inundated roadways in mind, the Cape Coral Police Department recently listed some rainy season driving tips on its Facebook page.

If you can’t wait out the rain and give the streets some time to drain as they will do, here’s a few:

• Turn your lights (but not your hazard lights) on.

• Take it slow.

• Avoid sharp turns and hard breaking.

• Stay focused.

• Do not use cruise control, which can cause hydroplaning.

Let us add a perennial:

• Do not drive through standing water. It can be deeper than you think.

Words to live by.


Take care.

Be aware.

And drive safe if drive you must do when Mother Nature pours it on.

— Breeze editorial