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Hurricane Harvey May Have Destroyed 500,000 Cars

Aug 30, 2017



Up to half a million vehicles may have been destroyed in the flooding that has enveloped the Houston area following Hurricane Harvey.

According to CNBC, Hurricane Harvey likely destroyed more vehicles than Hurrican Sandy, which slammed New York and New Jersey in October of 2012. Even though the New York/New Jersey region is more densely populated, the affected area for Harvey has a higher average amount of cars per household. Sandy was estimated to have destroyed about 250,000 vehicles, while Harvey has likely wrecked double that.

Flooding can create a unique situation in the automotive industry post-disaster. Area car dealerships will experience major losses in regards to destroyed product, but will likely see a large influx in business as consumers look to replace their destroyed automobiles. Used car dealerships will also see an uptick in sales and as a result, used car prices will likely rise due to limited inventory. Insurance companies will be working around the clock to process claims as well.

Some cars affected by the flooding from Hurricane Sandy were fixed and later sold to unsuspecting consumers. It’s illegal to sell a flood damaged car without notifying the buyer, but in some cases, shady sellers had the cars’ titles wiped or reissued in different states, making it hard to determine the vehicle’s true history. Experts are predicting the same practices will happen post-Harvey as well, unfortunately. On the bright side, some lightly flood damaged vehicles may be offered at a good rate to consumers who don’t mind buying a refurbished vehicle.


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