Driving In Sunday’s Scary Rainstorm Taught Me These 5 Lessons
On Sunday, July 18, all hell broke loose on El Paso's east central and far east sides of town. A wild rainstorm that dumped officially 1.5 inches of rain at the airport but much more unofficially all over the east sides of town caused all kinds of crazy flooding that most eastsiders say they've never seen before in their lives.
I got stuck in the rainstorm when I was coming home from the westside. I was driving on Edgemere between Geronimo and Airway when it hit. When I got to Sioux Street I suddenly lost all visibility. I couldn't see the front of my car much less anything else. I have never driven in rain like that. Check out the video I shot and then a few things that I did that might help you the next time crazy rain like that hits.
1. Slow way the heck down - I had been doing about 35 miles an hour when I lost visibility. I stopped accelerating and the force of the rain and wind slowed me way down to about, and I'm not joking, 2 miles an hour within a few seconds. I didn't accelerate anymore until I could get to a safe place.
2. Turn on your hazard lights - I couldn't see the person in front of me even though I knew they were there unless they braked. I was afraid that I might not have time to stop because of the slick roads so I turned on my hazard lights to warn anyone behind me that I was still there.
3. Bump the curb - I don't recommend doing this unless you are really going slow because you might pop a tire or make your car swerve. I was doing 2 miles an hour and every few seconds would scrape my tires on the curb to make sure I didn't drift into another lane.
4. Stay calm - When you can't see in front of you, you might panic. Don't. I'm a panicker and I struggled to stay calm because I knew that I couldn't stop my car on the road because I might get hit from behind and I needed to get to a safe place. I finally did get to a safe place when I pulled into the parking lot on Airway and Edgemere.
5. Don't drive - If you can't see the curb, you shouldn't drive down a street. I made that mistake twice and twice had to pull into another parking lot on Edgemere. My car started floating and I knew I was in trouble. Just wait out the storm and a few minutes later you should be good to go.