Our early-afternoon downpours drenched portions of Ocean County to safety-hazard proportions. Manchester Township police relate a hectic scene in the Renaissance enclave on the east side of town.

Flooded streets of Manchester, 8-19-15 (Manchester PD)

According to township Emergency Management Coordinator Art Abline, water rose two feet in some spots, especially Barcelona Court, Eleanor Road and Ambassador Drive.

Two drivers trying to ford the streams had to abandon their cars and walk to dry land. An ambulance on a first-aid call stalled in deep water on Barcelona Court, and needed a tow operator to pull it out and restart it.

Manchester police offer some safety tips when it rains hard enough to turn roads into ponds, especially in sudden cloudbursts:

  • Never attempt to drive through a flood that you couldn't walk through and be aware that water hides dips in the road. Worse still, there may be no road at all under the water. Flooding can wash away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground beneath.
  • Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
  • If negotiating a flooded section of road, drive in the middle where the water will be at its shallowest..
  • Consider other drivers - pass through flooded sections one car at a time, don't drive through water against approaching vehicles.
  • Many cars will start to float in as little as one foot of water - this can be extremely dangerous because as the wheels lose grip, you lose control.
  • Two feet of flowing water can sweep away most vehicles - including large four-wheel drive cars. Don't try driving through fast-moving water, for example approaching a flooded bridge - your car could easily be swept away.