Home > Amazing, Americas, Atlantic, Environmental, Explained, Financial > Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Storm Damage Vehicles

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Storm Damage Vehicles


In late October 2012 the east coast of the United States was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Sandy swept through the entire eastern seaboard, killing over 250 people in seven countries. Financial losses were over $74 billion; Sandy was in fact the second-costliest natural disaster in United States history.

What happened to the flood-damaged vehicles? One company had the foresight to sign a lease on a seldom-used airport just before the storm hit the coast. Thanks to photographer Doug Kuntz, we have aerial photographs of their salvage progress.



According to the Insurance Crime Bureau, over 230,000 cars were damaged by Hurricane Sandy – 150,000 of them from New York. There are dozens of storm salvage companies pulling cars from the area, but Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) is one of the largest with about 40% of the Sandy volume.

IAA employ experts to study weather patterns and predict major storm strikes; in the case of Hurricane Sandy, IAA spent $2.7M to lease Calverton Executive Airpark in advance of the storm. In addition, Insurance Auto Auctions leased massive holding facilities and sent 400 tow trucks to the area – all before Sandy even made landfall.

Click thumbnails to enlarge

Kuntz13 Kuntz16 Kuntz11

Kuntz14 Kuntz8 Kuntz5


Riverhead town supervisor Sean Walter said there are approximately 18,000 damaged vehicles stored at Calverton Airpark. If that number is accurate, Calverton represents only 8% of the reported Sandy-damaged vehicles.

Kuntz7 Kuntz2 Kuntz6

If you’re interested in hearing more about what happens to the Hurricane Sandy damaged cars, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has a quick video describing the progress that has been made:


New York And New Jersey Continue To Recover From Superstorm Sandy

above courtesy of Spencer Platt (Getty)


  1. Ormojan
    February 9, 2013 at 00:57

    why in the earth they are crushed? you could save a heap of spare parts for the cars still running the streets..

    • sprub
      February 11, 2013 at 05:42

      You obviously didn’t watch the video…

    • May 10, 2013 at 08:28

      They said some will be crushed and some will be parted out. Others still will be sold as running cars with a title stating it was a flood vehicle.

  2. kandrews82
    October 24, 2013 at 11:03

    I was a claims adjuster with GEICO in Florida when Sandy hit. Due to the overwhelming amounts of claims our office actually handled a lot of the calls. The photos of damage were just crazy. Water lines up to the rear view mirrors, cars that had floated down blocks, etc..

  3. February 9, 2014 at 07:18

    I don’t understand why these cars are to be crush, some of them can be brought back with just few repairs they can be out in the streets again or on the second thought spare parts in good condition can be farm out of these cars.

    Carl from http://www.quickinsurance123.com

  4. asdad
    August 6, 2014 at 19:44

    any kind of salt water in the motor= a complete rebuild

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