MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - With the recent rain showers, many local parks and roads are closed due to flooding.
Currently in Meridian Township: Legg Park and Ferguson Park are closed. Okemos Road, Hillcrest Avenue, and Nakoma Drive are all closed in some areas.
Since Okemos Road is closed between Gaylord C. Smith Court and Central Park Drive, the Temporary Fire Station located at the Meridian Service Center is also closed.
“Typically we put a yellow, Type-2 ‘Water over the Road’ sign if there is water off to the sides of the road. In that situation it is still safe to slowly pass through with due caution. If the water is spread out to the center of the road, with some depth, it’s a judgment call here, we close the road with a black and white, Type-3 ‘Road Closed’ barricade,” explained Ingham County Road Department Managing Director Bill Conklin.
The Meridian Township Police Department warns drivers to not drive around the barricades and through the flooded street.
"Drivers are taking their own personal safety at risk when going through flooded areas. Not only can it cause more damage to the roadway, but also your vehicle," said Lieutenant Greg Frenger.
According to Frenger it is a Civil Infraction violation if motorists drive around the road closure signs with a $120 fine. If somebody removes the sign it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine.
Dale Cole, Service Advisor at Wood’s Okemos Marathon on Hamilton Road warns of the potential dangers and damages inflicted on cars from waterlogged streets.
“There are a couple of different things that can be hazardous to your car. Number one, water-filled potholes can be deceiving, there could be a crater under that puddle and you’d never know. Potholes can damage your ball joints, bust your tires and bend or break your suspension parts. Number two, if you go through a flooded street, even slowly, even if it’s just a few inches, water can get ingested into the engine through the air intake. In some cars, the air intake is in the lower bumper cover. The water can damage or ruin your engine and can cost several thousand dollars to replace it,” said Cole.
Cole raises the point that if someone tries to drive through a flooded zone and gets stuck, just trying to get out of the car can cause damage to the inside if the water level is high enough to rush in when the door is opened.
For people with stalled engines in flooded areas, calling a tow truck may be the safer option rather than trying to push the car out and causing more damage or putting their own safety at risk.