Why we drive through standing water

We know how tempting it can be to believe your car can get through a little standing water. We tried it back in 2009 while driving to Breckenridge, Minnesota, to cover the Red River flooding. Halfway though, I realized it was a bad idea.

Pilots, in particular, have an affliction known as “GetHomeitis,” where the pull to get where you’re going — usually home — is so strong, it makes you ignore everything your brain might be telling you. A lot of pilots die with GetHomeitis.

It’s not that we’re stupid. It’s just that there’s a “pull” for us to get where we’re going. And sometimes we make bad choices.

We’re giving a woman on I-90 near the South Dakota border the benefit of the doubt.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety posted the picture on its Facebook page this afternoon, adding this commentary:

Moments before rapidly rising flood waters in southwestern Minnesota swept away and flipped her vehicle, a woman was plucked from her car by a Minnesota State Patrol trooper.

The scared woman called 911 just after 9:15 p.m. Monday when water flooded Interstate 90 and quickly filled her car near the South Dakota border. Water was over the driver’s seat when the woman called for help.

Trooper Brian Beuning arrived and walked to the vehicle, which was up to its windows in water. The woman climbed out the rear passenger window and into Trooper Beuning’s arms. As they stood in the middle of the eastbound lanes of I-90, the vehicle was swept away down a ditch. It flipped over and continued floating away in the flood waters.

Strong currents prevented a DNR boat from rescuing the pair. Fire personnel set up on the west side of the flowing water and relayed firemen in water-rescue suits out to Trooper Beuning and driver. Firemen tied a rope around the soaked trooper and victim and helped them walk to safety.

Neither was injured.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    I learned my lesson in 1987. I was at a meeting at the Brookdale library for a computer user group. Severe weather hit the area. (We had some extra guests at the meeting.) That was the rain storm that dumped almost 10 inches of rain in the metro. I was living west of Excelsior and made the mistake of staying on Hwy 7 instead of going up into Excelsior. The road is low at that point and the water had pooled. My car stalled and I sat there as the body rocked from the waves of other passing vehicles. Fortunately I was able to get the car started, after 5-10 minutes (I think), and was able to get out of the water in the “wake” of a semi. The water was probably about axle deep on my old Dodge Aries.