Experts warn driving through flooded streets could cost you dearly

MIAMI – With all the talk of torrential rains, now is a good time to remember the dangers that flooding poses.

You’ve probably heard the phrase thrown around, don’t drown. But it’s more than that.

Driving through flood waters can cost you dearly.

Experts say if there is severe flooding from Friday to Saturday, stay home!

Mark Jenkins, with AAA, said they always discourage people from driving through puddles and flooded streets because you never know what might be underwater and cause damage.

“As we head into storm season, this likely won’t be the last storm we face this summer. Work with your insurer and make sure you have adequate coverage for your car and home,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA Public. relationship manager.

Jenkins says there are two different parts to an auto insurance policy; full is not required by law, but it is what will help any flood damage.

“It’s the time of year when you want to sit down with your adjuster and make sure you have adequate coverage. Any time you drive through standing water, you’re taking a risk, so I think that you have to be very careful, especially when a storm is approaching like this,” Jenkins said.

Jose Devarona, a technician at Beacon Auto Care says damage for flooded engines can range from $40 to $10,000 depending on your car.

He advises people not to even try to drive through a flooded street and turn around.

“Remember that your engine breathes air, sucks in air and pushes it out the exhaust, so instead of sucking in air, it’s going to suck in water and the pistons can’t not compress water like air, so the connecting rod will just bend and that’s it. You’re done!” said Jose Devarona, technician at Beach Auto Care.

If you end up driving down the street and getting stuck, he’s got some advice for you.

“Stay in the car, don’t go out in those deep waters, and don’t call a tow truck,” Devarona said.

As for the flooding on the street parking lot, he says other than interior damage, it should be fine.

Do not turn on your car while there is still water to move it.

“If it’s in a lot of water, have it towed and have the mechanic check it out. Otherwise, you’re taking a gamble,” Devarona said.

Ideally, the best option is to have your car in a garage or somewhere up high.

As for insurance, Jenkins said while you can usually add full coverage to your policy, you’ll need to check with your specific insurance company to see the rules on when and how you can add more coverage.

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