DOTD warns motorists to drive with caution during inclement weather, heavy rains

Published 6:22 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development strongly urges motorists to drive with extreme caution, as regions of the state are experiencing heavy rainfall.

DOTD reminds drivers that low-lying areas can flood quickly, and it’s often difficult to judge the depth of water that is covering a roadway. A passenger vehicle can be swept away in as little as six inches of water during a flash flood.

During unfavorable weather conditions, motorists should adhere to the following safety tips:

  • Do not drive unless you must.
  • Avoid driving in standing or running water.
  • Avoid driving while distracted.
  • Avoid using cruise control when visibility is low or road surfaces are wet.
  • Always allow for extra driving time.
  • Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
  • Have your headlights on when using windshield wipers
  • Never drive through areas with downed power lines or utility poles.
  • Never drive around or remove “road closed” barricades for any reason.

It’s also important to remember that during heavy rainfall and rapidly changing conditions, a roadway may become inundated and unsafe for travel even without a ‘road closed’ barricade in place. These barricades are placed by numerous agencies during emergencies, but motorists should always proceed with extreme caution and heed the warning: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

If a ‘road closed’ barricade has been positioned, remember that it’s unlawful and extremely unsafe to disregard the barricades and drive onto a closed roadway.

Motorists are encouraged to check the status of road conditions prior to beginning commutes to impacted areas by utilizing the following resources for the latest information regarding conditions:

  • 511 Traveler Information: Travelers can find information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at www.511la.org or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. You may also download the Louisiana 511 mobile app. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).
  • MyDOTD: Motorists can receive automatic and up-to-date information on local projects, lane and road closures, and other DOTD activity by signing up for MyDOTD at www.dotd.la.gov.
  • Social Media: Additional informatoin can be found at DOTD’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please let us know how we may better serve you: Customer Service Survey.