Wednesday, February 27 2013, 05:48 PM CST
BPD provides safe driving tips in preparation for wet weather
BEAUMONT - By Megan Dillard - Well that rain is expected to last for several days, which means drivers in Beaumont could face dangerous road conditions.
KFDM rode along with a Beaumont police officer who explains why begging people to drive safely has personal meaning.
It's wet and rainy in Beaumont.
"The roads are already wet and people are trying to get home."
Officer Joe Ornelas is on the streets, showing us which roads may see the most flooding over the next days.
"This is Irving overpass which always has a tendency to flood."
Flooding and standing water underneath overpasses. Ornelas says these are big concerns.
"You'll see the signs to tell you how deep the water is, and they'll still attempt to get through here."
BPD wants to remind drivers to practice safety.
Slow down; use your lights; don't follow too closely.
In addition to providing reminders before the rain, officers also work the flooded streets after the downpour.
"In the areas that the water sits for a long time, the underpasses, officers may be out there or barricades put out to warn people not to go under the overpasses."
Ornelas was working one of those shifts several years ago, here on MLK under the Lavaca overpass.
"I had every single light on, I had a section of cones put out, reflective cones. But they would still try to go down there."
While he was sitting inside his car dealing with a driver he'd just pulled over, a driver in a truck came barreling down the road.
That driver slammed into the police car.
"He still was able to hit my car as I was sitting in it. It's really dangerous for us, and of course it's dangerous for the people to go through that flooded water."
A danger Officer Ornelas saw firsthand and a lesson he's now passing on to drivers especially during these wet conditions.
We need lots of driver participation for their safety and for ours.
Ornelas told us BPD works hand-in-hand with the city to monitor flooding. He urges, if you don't have to go out in the rain, stay at home.
And if you do go out, please be careful.