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Dallas water rescue team shares tips for driving safely in heavy rain, flash flooding

Lt. Joseph Martinez with Dallas Fire-Rescue warned cars can be swept away in seconds, so drivers should avoid areas with any standing water.

DALLAS — Dallas Fire-Rescue has two teams solely dedicated to responding to water calls due to the recent weather. These teams are made up of 10 people: four on the truck, four on the engine and two on the ambulance. 

They also use boats -- two 420 Zodiacs -- to access flooded areas, when needed and when conditions are safe. 

Over the weekend, other emergency crews recovered a woman's body after her car was swept away in Garland. 

Responding crews said the water was 12 to 24 inches deep and flowing rapidly, so intensely that they couldn't immediately reach the vehicle.

RELATED: Body found after vehicle became trapped in rushing water Sunday morning, Garland officials say

Lt. Joseph Martinez with Dallas Fire-Rescue water rescue team shared the following tips for people driving during heavy rain and flash flooding events: 

  • Check your route before you get in the car for any closures; avoid being on your phone while driving
  • As the rain picks up, slow down and drive with caution (hazard lights are not necessary).
  • If you see any water on the road, take an alternative route or wait it out; often areas can clear up in an hour or two
  • Water as shallow as 20 to 24 inches can swamp your car in a matter of seconds and sweep you away. It's dangerous even for people in a large truck or SUV.

Martinez warned that because the ground is so saturated, flooding can happen incredibly quickly. 

"So even if it looks like it's kind of low water or they think they can make it, as the rain is coming down it's going to creep up within seconds," Martinez said.

If a car stalls due to water or has to slow down, it is even more likely to be swept away, Martinez explained. 

More severe weather tips: 

Tips: What to do if you find yourself in a sinking vehicle during severe weather, flooding

City of Fort Worth officials urge 'extreme caution' as Lake Worth reopens

First comes the rain, then comes the mosquitoes. How to stop those bloodsuckers from attacking

Turn around, don't drown | Tips for driving safely as North Texas faces spring storms