What Happens to the Flooded Cars after Hurricane Harvey?

What happens to the flooded cars after Hurricane Harvey? Well, it’s a legitimate question since it could end up being the most expensive disaster to date in the United States. Vehicles are one of the valuable assets that took most of the hit of that massive catastrophe. Besides, Houston and many Texas areas, where the hurricane wreaked havoc on the most, have a car ownership rate that is higher than the national average.

The State of Damage Caused by the Disaster

Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm that caused landfalls and submerged cars and properties in the southern parts of the country. To be precise, it destroyed 300,000 to 500,000 vehicles in Houston alone! So, you can well assume the extent of loss in the automobile sector.

Flooded car in Houston
Can not leave his beloved car! (photo source: KTRK/abc13.com)

What Will Happen to the Flooded Cars after Hurricane Harvey?

Many people think that these vehicles end up in junkyards because it is impossible to completely fix the damaged electronics of a submerged automobile. Well, it’s a wrong idea! At least half of the damaged cars will be back in the marketplace. It is more difficult to fix flood-affected modern cars than the older models but it’s not quite impossible.

flooded cars
The irreparable ones will end up in junkyards. (photo source: Autocar UK)

Let’s see what exactly happens to the flooded cars after Hurricane Harvey and how they move from the street to another place. The consequences will be different depending on whether they have insurance or not.

Cars with an Insurance

The adjusters from the insurance companies will inspect the cars after getting a report from the owners. Due to a large number of affected vehicles, the adjusters will do a bulk assessment. It will include verifying the registration and evaluating the extent of the damage. They will sort out the automobiles that are repairable and that are a total loss. The useless ones will end up in auction yards.

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The staff at the auction lots will take pictures of the cars and catalog them. Once the paperwork is done, the auction will take place. Buyers from all around the world can buy these vehicles online. Some of them will be repaired and shipped to other countries while others will end up in junkyards but not until all of their useful parts have been separated.

flooded cars after Hurricane Harvey
The insurance company will auction the cars that cannot be fixed. (photo source: Laitr Keiows)

Cars without an Insurance

The owners of these vehicles will try to repair them (if that is an option) as soon as possible without even reporting about their damage. They will sell the irreparable ones to the tow companies for the scrap value.

A large number of flood-affected vehicles will be repaired. They will be on the market shortly after the disaster is under control. So, keep your eyes out if you need to buy a car just after such a big disaster. It’s never a good decision to buy a flood-affected vehicle.