|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"Yep," he said, nodding to his travel buddy
Just as he had suspected, his car -- just 14 months old and still parked where he left it before heading off on a golf trip to
"For a couple extra bucks I could have parked inside, but you never think of getting torrential rain," Donahue said.
Across Maryland and much of the Northeast on Wednesday, homeowners dialed insurers about flooded basements, while vehicle owners called insurers and mechanics about water in engines and interiors.
"I'm sure we're getting some auto, too," she said.
Dozens of vehicles in two long-term parking lots at BWI were partially submerged after rising waters overwhelmed nearby stormwater culverts. Dozens more were driven into standing or rushing water on roadways, forcing first responders into rescue boats to pull passengers to safety.
After the rains stopped, the water receded quickly. Muddy, mulch-and-stick-strewn debris was left behind, along with damaged cars.
"We have a
Brown said the amount of damage water can cause to a car depends a lot on the circumstances, including whether the vehicle is running and sucking water into itself at the time it comes in contact with the water. But vehicles can be totaled, he said.
Brown found water in the
"That thing is all full of water where it shouldn't have any," he said. "The only thing we can do is go ahead and build an estimate for what it would cost to repair or replace the items that are needed."
Then it's up to insurance to determine if the car is worth fixing at all. Memenza said water damage, whether a vehicle is parked in a flood or driven through water, should be covered by drivers' comprehensive policies, but that insurance varies.
Vehicles caught in high water should not be started "until a thorough inspection is completed," said
Brown said car owners should do that quickly, though, as "time is of the essence" when a vehicle's engine or interior is wet and susceptible to corrosion. Mold can also be an issue.