Safety Committee

Networking with emergency, law enforcement & others for water safety

Hurricane-Damaged Vehicles

What You Need to Know

When hurricanes hit, vehicles are often flooded. But what happens to these flood-damaged vehicles? In some cases, the vehicles and vehicle parts start appearing on the market for sale — even hundreds of miles away — which can then be sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Whether you’re a victim of the hurricane or someone hundreds of miles away looking to buy a car, you should be aware of flood-damaged vehicles. 

Scammers looking to make a buck know how to clean up a damaged vehicle. On first appearance, the vehicle may look fine. If the seller is using a fraudulent title, it may be even more difficult to determine whether the vehicle is flood-damaged. However, flood damage can affect a vehicle’s mechanisms for years to come, and may not always manifest as a problem right away. Remember these tips from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for spotting flood-damaged vehicles when shopping around:

  • Sniff Test: If the car smells musty, there is a high likelihood it has been exposed to water. If it has a strong smell of deodorizer or air freshener, it is possible the seller is trying to mask the smell of mildew.
  • Dirt and Grime: Mud, dirt, or waterlines inside the vehicle are possible signs of flood damage. Don’t forget to check hidden spots for dirt and watermarks, like the trunk, glove box, and under the dashboard.
  • Rust and Corrosion: Check under the vehicle to see if there is an unusual amount of rust or corrosion for the vehicle’s age and location.

For more information, including how to handle hurricane-damaged equipment like car seats and tires, and the first steps in reporting a hurricane-damaged vehicle, visit NHTSA.gov.

The Jack D Saunders Community Shred Event is scheduled for Saturday, May 8, 2021    


Place RWVFD - same place as last year.  At 10:00 AM

By far, the most dangerous venomous snake at the lake. N.C. leads the nation in venomous snake bites with 5 x the national average and all because of this snake. An old adage is that the reason you see so many dead ones on the road is that they are so aggressive that they will take on a 3000 lb vehicle. It is actually just the opposite.

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The Lake Gaston Water Safety Council was formed on February 22, 1989. We are thankful for Joe Peterson, formerly with what is now known as Dominion Energy, for envisioning the need back in 1988 to organize a group of interested persons who lived on the lake to solely focus on safety on the water. Much has happened over the last 20 plus years.

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