Baton Rouge, LA - With the threat of severe weather and heavy rainfall that may impact areas of the state, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) reminds motorists to take extra precautions should traveling be necessary.
During unfavorable weather conditions, motorists should adhere to the following safety tips:
- Do not drive unless you must.
- Avoid driving into 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.
DOTD is monitoring weather forecasts for the possibility of a severe storm. In preparation, the department is checking and fueling mechanical equipment, staging equipment and barricades, inspecting drain inlets and clearing as needed, checking all equipment at pumping stations, ensuring that all pumping stations are staffed, and digging ditches in areas. The department will be monitoring roadways across the state and will close them as necessary in the event of flooding.
As a reminder, please do not put trash by drain inlets. Last year DOTD cleaned 5,667 catch basins and 49,741 linear feet of pipe at a total cost of $3.7 million.
All DOTD pumping stations will be operating, but in the event of a flash flood, rapidly rising water in drainage areas may prevent the pumps from draining roadways as quickly as usual. Under normal rain conditions, the pumps move water from the roadway to nearby bodies of water, such as lakes and canals. But when these bodies of water are at capacity, water may remain on the roadways and have no place to flow.
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 road conditions:
- 511 Traveler Information: Travelers can also find information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. 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.
- Social media: Additional information can be found at DOTD’s Facebook and Twitter pages.