Warning for all NJ residents — seek higher ground now for your vehicles
The drenching rains dropped by the remnants of Hurricane Ida made many New Jersey residents realize that they actually do live in a flood-prone area, and that their vehicles are not invincible.
You're being advised, ahead of whenever the next major storm system arrives, to know the best spot for your automobile so it's not washed away with floodwaters or severely damaged.
"It's not a bad idea, especially since these storms seem to be more frequent lately — as you're driving around, look at where the high points are in your town, in your neighborhood," said Joe Erickson, territory manager for the approved auto repair program of AAA Club Alliance.
That point may not always be the top of a street. It could be an upper level of a municipal or mall parking garage, Erickson noted.
If flash or any flooding is part of an upcoming storm's threat, he said, get your vehicle to higher ground before it's too late. A resident of Ocean County, Erickson said there are certain areas by his home that end up getting packed with cars ahead of storms, because residents are familiar with the danger of leaving their cars in the street, driveway or garage.
Ida dumped close to 10 inches of rain in parts of the Garden State starting in the evening of Sept. 1. Vehicles were consumed by floodwaters in numerous counties.
"Everybody in New Jersey should be mindful of where they can park their car on higher ground," said Christine O'Brien, president of the Insurance Council of New Jersey. "That is the best way to protect one of your largest assets."
Those who are unwilling or unable to move their car may have the additional option to line the entrance of their garage with sandbags, O'Brien added. Depending on the storm, sandbags could minimize the amount of water that reaches a car parked in a garage.