Hurricane Ida: New Orleans Changed the Law to Save Cars From Water Damage

Hurricane Ida is taking its toll on the United States. New Orleans has suffered heavy damages from the catastrophic floods. The state of New Orleans changed a major parking law in anticipation of the disastrous hurricane. New Orleans temporarily removed a ban after considering the safety of its residents and their property.

New Orleans changes law to benefit drivers during Hurricane Ida flooding

Cars cross a waterlogged area.
Cars cross a waterlogged area | Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Unfortunately, New Orleans is no stranger to natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina battered the state of New Orleans back in 2005. Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst hurricanes in recent U.S. history and had serious long-lasting implications for New Orleans citizens.

The state has made many changes since Hurricane Katrina. In preparation for Hurricane Ida, the state of New Orleans lifted a ban prohibiting citizens from parking on grassy medians. According to Car and Driver, this law was changed to save countless vehicles from flooding.

Allowing citizens to park on grassy medians gave citizens a way to avoid serious flood damages when possible. This isn’t New Orleans’ first rodeo. The ability to park on these common medians gave New Orleans citizens a better chance at minimizing damage under the trying circumstances.

Does parking on medians actually help with flooding?

A car sits in a flooded parking spot after a night of high winds and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.
A car sits in a flooded parking spot after a night of high winds and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida | Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

The medians in New Orleans are several inches higher than street level. A few inches could sometimes make all the difference when dealing with floods. Medians may not have completely saved vehicles but it gave them a fighting chance against the elements.

The state of New Orleans has once again drawn the short straw. New Orleans is at least a few feet below sea level so natural disasters like Hurricane Ida can pummel the state. The situation in New Orleans is dire but its citizens are resilient. This law change is one of the many ways the state has shown an effort in trying to make the disaster as bearable as possible.

Does water damage or flooding mean a car is totaled?

An abandoned car is seen in flooded waters.
An abandoned car is seen in flooded waters | Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Water damage can often mean the end of a car’s usefulness. Combustion engines as well as a vehicle’s electrical components do not mix well with excessive amounts of water. Any level of water past half of a vehicle’s wheelbase can be considered an emergency situation.

Some insurance policies do cover water damage in certain situations. The best thing to do is have a plan and prepare for disaster scenarios such as Hurricane Ida. Planning before a disaster occurs may seem like overkill but there are plenty of people with worthless cars wishing they had some coverage in this situation.

When it comes to flooding, avoid it like the plague if you plan on keeping your vehicle in good condition. When living in a state like New Orleans that is below sea level, have a plan for your vehicle in the event of an emergency. Hurricane Ida will not be the last major natural disaster in most of our lifetimes. We may not have the power to prevent disasters from occurring but we do have the resources to best prepare for certain events.

Water damage and flooding are every vehicle’s kryptonite. Vehicles like trucks and SUVs with more ground clearance are better prepared for flooding. Ultimately, when you live in a state like New Orleans, flooding is something you have to account for when choosing a vehicle.

RELATED: How To Prepare Your Car for a Hurricane