Officials planning how to stop drivers from drowning at deadly flood-prone intersections

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Houston - Local authorities are scrambling to prevent future drowning deaths at intersections like the one at Westpark and Loop 6-10, where 25-year-old Claudia Melgar drove past a barricade and into an underpass filled with 30 feet of rushing floodwater.

"We've got to identify every location like that, and we've got to put in place a barrier system that prevents people from driving in," Harris County Judge Ed Emmett demanded.

Newsfix asked Emmett why that particular intersection keeps producing deadly drownings. "There's no simple way to put it, what has happened at that intersection is unacceptable," he said.

Dashcam video shows a Harris County worker tried to drive after Melgar but couldn't stop her. He even went into the water to try to save her, but officials said the rushing waters at that intersection prevented any rescue attempt.

"And it was completely blocked off after that," Emmett insisted. "Nobody could go in because we had to get the water down."

A similar scenario played out in Austin County, where rescuers tried to save a woman who may have unknowingly driven into a flash flood only to be swept away with rising waters too dangerous for firefighters to save her.

"We've got to get this corrected, and we've got to get it corrected quickly," Emmett vowed.

The judge says the immediate solution may be to post deputies at the most dangerous roadways and have them guard against motorists coming through.

"This has happened too many times," Emmett continued. "We have got to make it safe for the driving public, particularly at night because you can't see!"

With more rain in the forecast...every moment counts.