Getting back on track: how to recover from flood damage
After the massive floods spread across Houston late Sunday and into Monday, thousands of families were left without homes, power or transportation.
Students have been severely affected by the flooding as well, with many having to face damages to their homes and vehicles and obstacles in navigating some of Houston’s still-flooded neighborhoods. For students still dealing with the repercussions of the flooding, here are some valuable resources to explore.
1. What to do when your car floods: Many students woke up Monday morning to find their cars completely submerged in water. Flood damage to cars can be costly and sometimes irreparable, and it’s important to first contact an insurance provider.
According to cartalk.com, the first thing you should do if your car flooded is get the water out of it. Second, it’s important to clean the interior as much as possible. It’s recommended to bleach the inside of the car in case of future mold development.
“You have to remove all the spark plugs, and then turn the engine over, to purge any water that may have gotten into the cylinders,” according to the website. “If water comes out, that cylinder is a candidate for corrosion and failure. You also have to drain the motor oil and transmission fluid, in case water has gotten in and diluted those crucial lubricants.”
2. What to do if you abandoned your car and it’s towed: Call multiple towing companies to compare prices. You can find your car online at http://towedcar.com/ with your license plate number or Vehicle Inspection Number.
According to ABC 13, if your car is towed by the city of Houston, you should expect to pay a $162.50 Non-consent Tow Fee, $20 per-day charge at a licensed vehicle storage facility, a $50 notification fee — if you haven’t found your car within 24 hours of its tow — and a $20 impound fee.
3. What to do if floodwaters damaged your home or apartment: The process for home repairs is long and extensive, but three simple steps from FloodSmart.gov advise residents to:
1. Notify your insurer to start the claims process,
2. Document the damage, and
3. Complete a proof of loss form
More information on these steps can be found here.
Even though campus was mostly clear Wednesday, students and commuters should still be on alert and be cautious of the still-flooded roads. Here’s an updated list of roads affected by high water.
To help other flooding victims, you can donate to the Houston Red Cross chapter.