SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — When storms moved through Sarasota on Wednesday morning the downpours led to traffic headaches, stalled out cars and a few frightening situations.
All throughout Sarasota County, the flood waters rose and drivers were caught in the mess. The rain pounded the area for five hours straight putting drivers at risk.
Motorist Nancy Hardaway was driving through a parking lot on South Tamiami Trail when she became trapped. “I drove to what I thought was high ground,” she recalled.
“I saw the water getting deeper and the car up ahead of me was stalled, I pulled off to the side to what I thought was going to be shallower, and I was totally stopped, my car turned off, I couldn’t get it turned on.”
Hardaway said things only got worse. She said, “I called AAA first, they said it was gonna be an hour. And when another truck went by, my car started to float in the waves, and I got panicky, so I called 911.” First responders had to help her out.
The intersection of US 41 and Bee Ridge Road is typically a very busy road. But during the downpour it became a river. For a few hours, lanes were closed causing major traffic backups and headaches.
“Some of our officers actually did encounter today vehicles actually floating down the road,” said Sarasota police spokeswoman Genevieve Judge.
Everyone has seen rain, but this came as a surprise.
“It looked fine when I first came in so I would never had driven through it, but once you’re in the middle of it, what are you gonna do?” said Hardaway.
Thankfully, no major incidents were reported.
If you’re ever driving in heavy rain and are unsure of the waters’ depth on a road, authorities say you should not drive through it.