Wednesday, 27 May 2015 00:00

Repair Shops and Tow Companies Flooded with Vehicles Following Record Rainfall in Houston, TX

Flooding near Meyer Park, TX on May 26. (Photo: Julia Andrews, Houston Chronicle)

 

Amy Milstead, president of the Spring, TX-based Milstead Group, expects her fleet of 40 tow trucks to move hundreds of vehicles affected by the floods each day for the next several days.
Milstead Group tows, stores and repairs vehicles. The phone began ringing around midnight on May 26.

The Auto Doc on Montrose Boulevard is also receiving a lot of calls for tow trucks. The auto repair and maintenance shop had four flooded vehicles dropped off by early afternoon on May 26, and it's expecting more in the next week to 10 days, reported chron.com.

Owner Dave Skorka said it requires a lot of space to take apart flooded cars and to hang their carpets to dry. He added that it's important to act quickly, before the car begins to mildew.

Skorka also warned against starting a car that has been flooded. If the car is parked and water rises around it, starting the engine can do more damage. He recommends towing it to a shop and letting a mechanic check it out, reported chron.com.

But if water gets to the dashboard, he told chron.com that the car is totaled.

Meyerland resident Rachel Weber told chron.com that her vehicle, as well as her husband's, was completely submerged. Their apartment complex has two levels: at and below street level. They parked in the lower one, which completely filled with water. Workers began pumping it out on May 26.

They've contacted their insurance company, which Weber said got them into rental cars, though it was a struggle as most places were either out of cars or had been flooded.

State Farm, which insures more than 3.5 million vehicles in the state of Texas, has received hundreds of calls for damaged, mostly flooded, vehicles across the state. An estimated 90 percent of the claims are for vehicles so badly damaged that they can't be driven, reported chron.com.

Allstate has added claims adjusters and other resources to handle the increase in Texas claims for flooded cars and damaged properties, largely caused by wind. Allstate insures more than 300,000 vehicles in Harris County.

Farmers is expecting people to file claims over the next week. It is sending insurance adjusters from around the country to Texas to expedite the process, reported chron.com.

To speed up the claims process, Farmers spokeswoman Carrie Bonney recommends filing a claim as soon as possible while Farmers has extra adjusters in Texas.

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