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State Officials Warn Of Risks Of Driving Through Floods

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The flood waters flowing through many communities in the Chicago area bring a lot of frustration and danger, especially to drivers.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson said flood waters can cause damage to homes and businesses, but the greatest risk is to those trying to drive down flooded roads.

"The most fatalities related to flooding are from people driving on flooded roadways" she said.

Emergency officials said drivers who encounter flooded roads should heed the warning "Turn Around, Don't Drown."

"You don't want to try driving on a street that has floodwaters over it; because a lot of times you can't see – number one – how deep it is, and you can't see if it may have washed away part of the roadway, and that's where see the most fatalities related to flooding are from people driving on flooded roadways," Thompson said.

Thompson said flood waters also have a strong current and filthy conditions.

"Flood waters are not clean waters. They're dirty, they're picking up contamination as they're going over land," she said.

With temperatures forecast in the 90s over the next few days, Thompson also warned against people becoming overheated as they work to sandbag, or clean up from floods. She urged people to think locally if they need help, by contacting their local emergency management agencies.

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