Central Louisiana was spared full scale hurricane damage in last week’s flooding but estimates of flooded cars are in the many thousands. Alexandria State Farm insurance agent Myron Lawson said some estimates indicate the number of vehicles affected by the storm and the resulting wet weather might climb into the multiple thousands, though no official estimates have been announced. Some automobile claims came directly from Hurricane Gustav, Wednesday morning's flooding in the cities made the number of claims much higher. "[Sept. 3rds] events at minimum doubled them," Lawson said. “The claims process has begun, but it could be days before claims adjusters can look at auto claims. That would only be the beginning. It could be months (before we finish)," Lawson added.
Lawson said anyone whose car is unusable because of flooding should try to prevent additional damage by keeping it on high ground. Sponge dry every area possible, vacuum out all possible water and shampoo the carpets, he advised.
If the vehicle cranks, be sure that using it will not make the problems worse. Try not to drive if there are any restrictions in place in the cities, and avoid any water puddles where depth is indeterminable, he added.
For now, clean out the water in the car and get it checked, paying special attention to any possibility of diluted fluids, Lawson said. Keep receipts for any procedure done to the car for the claims process.