Several car dealers in flood-prone locations in Louisiana are transferring their vehicles to safer places as Hurricane Isaac touches down at the Gulf Coast. The storm has gathered strength to become a Category 1 hurricane that according to forecasts from the U.S. National Hurricane Center, would arrive at the Mississippi Delta. Hurricane Isaac, which may directly hit New Orleans, could bring 75 mph winds and a foot of rain, which may result to floods that could damage vehicles. The storm forced Republican National Convention organizers to call off several Monday's events in Tampa, Fla.
In an interview with Automotive News, Bob Israel, president of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association in Baton Rouge, said that flying debris brought by high winds can damage vehicles, noting that their biggest problem is flooding. Dealers in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, have moved selected vehicles to higher ground, learning valuable lessons from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.
Other local dealers, however, decided to wait out the storm and will commence selling vehicles Thursday. Israel told Automotive News that a dealer in the low area of Slidell, La., moved his vehicles to the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. Israel disclosed that dealers conducted a rehearsal, allowing them to smoothly move their cars to higher places. He added that it was an arrangement through the dealers’ insurance company.