Hurricane Harvey didn’t just devastate homes and businesses – it may also have totaled up to half a million cars. An estimated 500,000 Texan vehicles will likely be scrapped, leading to a massive sales wave of new and used cars in the near future.
Compared to the fallout of other major storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, the density of totaled vehicles in Houston is staggering. Cox Automotive — the company behind Kelly Blue Book and Autotrader — told CNBC that nearly 500,000 vehicles are likely to be totaled.
Reportedly, “scores” of trucks and cars had water up to their windows and, in some cases, over the hood and roof. Said Jonathon Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, “This is worse than Hurricane Sandy. Sandy was bad, but the flooding with Hurricane Harvey could impact far more vehicles.” 250,000 vehicles were scrapped in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy battered New York and New Jersey.
Whenever a hurricane hits, it leaves a legacy of damaged property, industrial waste, raw sewage, and oil spills – and the repercussions of Hurricane Harvey will be felt for many months. According to Ryan Maue with Weatherbell, 11 trillion gallons of rain dumped on the state during the actual storm; by the time the weather dissipates completely, that number is expected to increase to 25 trillion gallons of rain. In total, 30,000 people sought temporary shelter and 450,000 are expected to seek assistance from FEMA.
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