Firefighters fear flash flooding problems ahead of heavy rains

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Firefighters in Greensboro are not planning on using the boat they usually reserve for lake rescues on city streets this weekend but Mother Nature could have other plans.

Some weather forecasts are predicting six inches of rain between tomorrow and the end of the weekend. Firefighters said if that rain comes too quickly, storm drains could become overwhelmed and flooded roadways could become a problem.

“Anytime you have standing water your car could float away and obviously moving water can move even big trucks,” said Captain Bryan Wells with the Greensboro Fire Department.

Firefighters are hoping drivers use caution and avoid driving across flooded roadways and parking lots.

Areas that are prone to flooding include the downtown area, Four Season Mall and West Wendover Avenue near Interstate 40.

Firefighters said they prepare for flooding by surveying high-risk areas now. It helps them get familiar with the trouble spots and understand how deep the water gets during flash flooding.

On a water rescue firefighters typically get calls from people inside a car that loses control once it wades too far into water on a roadway.

“That's a very bad moment in their life, maybe the worst moment in their life,” said Luke Easter with the Greensboro Fire Department.

Easter said the best thing to do in that situation is wait in the car for help. Fire crews have a motorized raft that can fit more people than an SUV. It’s used to reach stranded cars and get people to safety.

Firefighters hope drivers avoid putting themselves in those situations by loading up on supplies early and getting off the road when the rain gets heavy.