AAA Northeast is advising drivers in the state to be prepared for the effects of tropical storm Isaias, which is making its way through the region with heavy rains, winds, and potential flooding.

The National Weather Service has issued a rare Tropical Strom Warning for the region and a Flood Watch for Berkshire County and the associated gale force winds can topple objects and power lines and heavy rain can lead to power outages and flooding that poses danger on the roadways and could lead to expensive repairs or loss of a vehicle. 

AAA Northeast offers these tips to help drivers weather the storm:

While the east coast track of Isaias poses minimal threat to oil and gasoline drilling, refining and distribution, storms can lead to power outages, rendering gas station pumps useless. Drivers should fill their tanks before the storm’s arrival to ensure they have gasoline in the event of an evacuation. If you are low on fuel and get stuck in traffic, turn off the engine to conserve what little gasoline you have left.

Vehicles should not be parked near trees, power lines or other tall objects that could fall due to heavy winds or lightning.

Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition, so that if you must drive, you have clear visibility.  And remember, when wipers are in use, your lights should be on--it’s the law— turn on your vehicle lights in heavy rain allowing your vehicle to be more visible to other drivers.

If you are driving and approach a flooded road, the safest practice is to NEVER drive through standing water, especially at night when it is nearly impossible to tell how deep the water is. This is particularly dangerous in unfamiliar areas. Just 12 to 18 inches of water is enough to make a vehicle float. Ripples on the water’s surface indicate the water is moving, making it easier for a vehicle to be carried away. Water can also be drawn into the engine causing serious damage that could lead to expensive repairs or a write-off of the vehicle.

Have a “go-bag” ready with food, beverages, masks, and sanitation products. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with: a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit with gloves; reflective vest; jumper cables; small tools including Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, pliers, wrench and duct tape; empty gas can; fire extinguisher; paper towels and glass cleaner; and the  most important item, a charged cell phone (and car charger) in case you need to call for help.

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