Last Friday on September 29th, heavy rain caused flash flooding across may parts of New York City. From streets to subway stations, to airport terminals, and the Central Park Zoo, were underwater as they say. NYC’s governor declared a state of emergency as record daily rainfalls were reported.
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Flooding can ruin electronics, lubricants, and mechanical systems in cars
Schools flooded, traffic jams, hospital evacuated, and more
At least 150 schools were flooded, relentless congestion, overflowed storm drains, inundated roads and more flooding madness holding drivers hostage in their vehicles, particularly in Brooklyn and Queens, New York where over seven inches of rain plummeted on the boroughs.
In Brooklyn, drivers were stuck with water reaching up to windows, with closures along highways and parkways including FDR Drive. The flooding impacted commuter rail and subway service for the roughly 4 million riders. Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn had to evacuate 120 patients. Landslides with mud in Lower Westchester were also reported.
The National Weather Service also confirmed that it had been the wettest September for New York City in 140 years.
Flashback to flash floods in 2021
This flooding disaster is the second time torrential rain takes over New York City. By in September 2021, New York was hit by Hurricane Ida’s leftover might. NYC had over seven inches of rain, while Newark had closer to nine inches of rain. Over 50 fatalities at the time, as people were trapped in basements.
Flooded cars can have major issues
Flood damage is a serious problem for cars, so if you’re a New Yorker in the market to buy a new or used vehicle just proceed with caution. A flooded car can have issues with the engine or transmission. It could also have corroded wiring, faulty airbags, or impaired high-tech features.
Look out for foul odor or moldy smells, rusty parts, weird noises and the like. Run the air conditioner to check for musty odor. Check for large stains on carpet or upholstery. Pull the seatbelt out to look for moisture or mildew.
Floodwater can also bring sand into the vehicle, so look in all tiny nooks and crannies, under the seats, and the glove compartment where most people will keep their car registration card. The lights, audio system, windshield wipers, and turn signals should all be tested as all electronics can be affected by flooding.
Carfax says 399,000 flooded cars were back on the roads in 2022
Protect yourself with a vehicle history report
Try to get a vehicle history report to get more information about the vehicle you have your eye on. With a car history report, you can tell if the car was ever a total loss, if it was in any kind of accident like property damage, how many owners it had, mileage, and more. It should also tell you if a car has been reported as flood damaged. If the previous owner didn’t report it though or file an insurance claim, however, then the vehicle history report may not indicate the flood damage.
Leverage the NCIB free VIN tool
The National Insurance Crime Bureau known as NCIB has a great VIN (vehicle number identification number) tool you can use for free to verify for any flood damage. Just enter the VIN for the car you’re interested in buying and see what comes up. This free VIN tool allows you the check five VINs every day in case you have a few options to research!
Vehicles with a rebuilt or salvage title are cars that have been repurchased and repaired after being declared a total loss by the insurance company, due to accident or natural disaster like flash floods
A rebuilt salvage vehicle title is disclosed
You should know that if you buy a vehicle from a car dealership or private party, they’re required to disclose the rebuilt salvage vehicle title on the back of the New York State car title. If the dealer or private seller doesn’t disclose the salvaged status, they could be fined up to $2,000 besides the penalties detailed in the NYS Penal Law. Please note: the NYS DMV examines if salvaged cars are rebuilt for roadways before giving you a New York State title and registration.
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