SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – With the risk of flooding throughout the Ozarks, local agencies are warning people to be prepared.

“Everybody says it, I’m going to say it,” said OEM Deputy Director Darren White. “Turn around, don’t drown.”

The famous catchphrase, White said, can’t be shared enough.

“Any kind of water across the road, if it’s flowing, can sweep a vehicle right off that road,” said White. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a couple of inches or two feet, anything that could possibly get underneath your tire will then just sweep your vehicle right away.”

White said if you do get stuck driving through high water, there are things to keep in mind.

“If you’re in a vehicle, if you’re able to get out and be on top of your vehicle, that’s fine,” said White. “Don’t take any undue risks that might cause more harm to yourself, but the higher up you can go, obviously, the better.”

The flood waters could also leave people taking an unwanted trip to the mechanic shop.

“Even water that’s only a few inches deep in the very front of the car could be a foot deep because it’s pushing all that water instead of cutting through it like a boat would,” said Tim Fess with Rick’s Automotive in Springfield. 

Fess said he knows an increase in customers could start coming in with water damage.

He understands, he said, why people might drive through high water.

“Human nature is I got to get home, I got to go pick up the kids at school, I got to go to the grocery store, what have you,” said Fess.

However, he knows it’s dangerous and could cause more of a headache down the line.