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Hurricane Irene: Any tips for minimizing damage to my car from her terrible ... something, something

I live in NYC and the storm is expected around Sunday. Since I park the car on the public streets, do you have any tips for protecting the car during this thing?

I intend to park the car on top of a hill (if I can find a spot) this way flood water flows away from my car.

Another idea I have is to use a type of tape (what is this called? the kind that can be removed without leaving a residue) to cover the holes to prevent as much water from entering as possible. I know the car has a system to channel the water out but a massive might overwhelm that system.

Any other ideas or thoughts about this?

Make sure your insurance is up to date. Water probably won’t be your major concern. The winds pick up anything that is or comes loose and throws it around. A broken tree branch hitting your car at 105 mph is going to do some damage, and no tape is going to protect it.

I don’t think you’ll accomplish anything with the tape as far as water getting in. I’d also be worried about damage from things blowing around.

Can you find a parking garage and park a few floors up on the inside?

Leaving town would also work, of course.

I would park on the west side of a tall building if possible. The storm will be coming from an eastward direction so let the building take the brunt of the storm. I don’t think there is a tape strong enough to stand up to hurricane force winds.

Enter your address into this application from the City:

You will get evacuation information and possibly storm surge info as well.

This is a PDF map that shows general areas and their risk:

As it says in the key, zone A is the worst, B is next, then C. If you don’t live in a depicted zone, there is no problem from storm surge.

“I would park on the west side of a tall building if possible.”

That might work, but it depends on what part of Irene hits NYC. Since the storm rotates counterclockwise, The west side of a building would see a lot of wind as it departed if the eye passed by on Long Island. At this point, there is no way of knowing.

If I were you I’d just take myself and my car and have a nice weekend out of town - like in western Pennsylvania or something.

If you park on the street it most likely will get towed. All parking rules are void in a emergency. I don’t think you have hill’s high enough for the storm surge. This could be a cat 1 when it gets to you. If I remember right you are 3-5 foot above sea level. I have read you could get up to a 10ft storm surge and up to 12 or inchs of rain. Also the tide will high when it hits. A parking garage 2nd level or higher would be my choice. Your Mayor as called for 300,000 to leave There is no way you will keep water out of your car. Rain driven at 60 miles per hr or higher, plus trees and tree branches. Good luck with that.

Rain itself shouldn’t be a big deal, assuming you don’t normally have an issue with leaking. Debris blown by high speed winds (including trees, utility poles, street lights, etc), hail, and flooding are the things to worry about. After that, there’s the chance of a twister, general chaos (someone skidding into the car, tow truck moving it for police, power company) etc. As said above, getting out of town for a few days is the best plan.

“I don’t think you have hill’s high enough for the storm surge.”

Even Central Park is about 80 feet above sea level. No storm surge will overcome that. Much of Manhattan is more than 20 feet above sea level. The other boroughs are even higher. NYC will not go under water as New Orleans did for at least 2 reasons:

Irene will not have winds high enough to create a storm surge as large as Katrina did. Katrina was a Category 3 storm and Irene will be at most a category 1 storm when it arrives in NYC after weakening as it skirts the East Cast from NC to NYC. Karina’s storm surge was 28 feet, and most of even Manhattan is higher than that.

Getting out of town will likely guarantee that you will have electricity and that you will e able to move freely on Sunday, but it is not necessary unless you live in one of the coastal zones that the city identified for you. See my first post on this subject.

Just don’t park near any old trees and you will be fine.

I was going to suggest the W PA, but cigroller beat me to it. Any friends who live in the burbs with garages, CT, even NJ?! :slight_smile:

CT and NJ will get hit as badly as NYC. Might as well stay put in your own home instead of going somewhere just as bad and unfamiliar to boot.

CT and NJ will get hit as badly as NYC. Might as well stay put in your own home instead of going somewhere just as bad and unfamiliar to boot.

?? No one suggested going to another place that’s still in the storm. I’m only about a 2.5hr drive from the coast of VA and all we have is a bunch of gust breeze with the occasional spit of rain. We regularly have thunderstorms much worse that this.

Actually, galant did just that!
See galant’s post, two spaces above yours.

cigroller, we won’t get the worst of it until tonight. Have a little patience. Since we both live on the western end of the B/W metro area, we won’t get nearly the blast that the Eastern Shore is getting now and will get all night.

What they said.
Park away from potential falling and blowing debris, even if you have to drive the car to a remote location.

Which brings up a gas station construction idea.
You know those big boxy canopies you see over the fueling lanes that that are always in shreads or toppled over in these things ?

Build them in such a manner that the entire box canopy can be lowered , like a shell, down over the pumps and all.
Protection both during weather events and during closed hours.

A hurricane is just an extended touch less car wash. Made sure you 're not in standing water or in the way of falling debris or trees. Otherwise, it’s a lot less damaging then a hail storm or road salt and the ravages of winter.

Actually, galant did just that!
See galant’s post, two spaces above yours.

Ah yes, my bad.

jtsanders, its true the worst of it is still climbing the coast. I think you’re more around the DC metro area which will get it worse. I’m south west nearer C’ville and we will see some spit & wind, but its still not much. The only point I was making at that moment is that its an easy drive - WEST - a couple of hours to get person & car out of the storm. This isn’t that big a deal.

Its also the case that I think about a lot more than just the raw weather for things like this. If NYC gets things really bad all sorts of stuff will be a problem. If it were me I’d rather be a couple hours West someplace with electricity and drinking water - and preferably not in a city.

Of course, I’m also rural and have a generator that runs my well. And I have old beat up cars. So I always just stay put.

I said camp out in CT or NJ in someone’s house who has a garage that the car could be parked in. The point was that finding a covered place is more likely in the burb’s than NYC.