Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Flooded car questions answered

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BATON ROUGE - As the clean-up effort continues around south Louisiana, people are trying to get back into their normal routine but that's difficult without a car.

Thousands of cars flooded, but if your insurance does not cover storm-related damage, FEMA says you must verify that it happened as a result of the disaster.

Alexis Wicker, says she's stuck at the moment and is relying on the help of others to get her to and from work. Her red Chevy Cobalt filled with water two weeks ago and after trying to get federal assistance once, FEMA says she needs more paperwork.

"They told me I need to do a diagnostics test on my car," said Wicker. "How am I going to do a diagnostics test on my car, the car is not running."

Many tow truck companies are very busy, towing cars to various locations. It's what Wicker needs to do next, too, but the flood damage bill is already adding up.

"I have to pay the tow man and I have to pay for diagnostics. I say, that's ridiculous," she tells News Two.

Thousands of other flood victims are in the same spot.

Damaged vehicles must be owned by the applicant or co-applicant and must be registered and street legal at the time of the disaster. The car must also meet the minimum requirements for liability insurance set by the state. The owner must also provide a statement explaining that the vehicle is essential to the household's transportation needs.

Items needed if a vehicle has not received an on site inspection:

  • Copy of registration valid at the time of the disaster.
  • A list of all vehicles owned and a brief description of damage caused by the disaster.
  • Verification of vehicle expenses by a mechanic with a verifiable bill, receipt or estimate. This documentation must contain a mechanics statement that declares the damage was a result of the disaster (e.g. flood water over engine, crushed by falling tree etc.)
  • The name of mechanic and company name, address and telephone number.
  • Insurance policy showing type of coverage.
  • Insurance settlement or statement.

If the applicant is referred to the Small Business Administration (SBA) they would need to apply with SBA for their transportation needs.

FEMA typically offers a grant for one car per person, up to $6,000 for vehicle replacement. Grants for vehicle repairs are also offered.

You can register through FEMA here.


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