News / USA

30,000 Sandy-Damaged Cars Stored on Eastern Long Island

30,000 Sandy-Damaged Cars Stored on Eastern Long Islandi
X
February 07, 2013 10:09 PM
Where do you park 30,000 storm-damaged vehicles - while avoiding further environmental disaster? That's now a question facing many people in the northeastern United States, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Calverton, New York.
Bernard Shusman
Where do you park 30,000 storm-damaged vehicles - while avoiding further environmental disaster?  That's now a question facing many people in the northeastern United States.

An idyllic winter scene - deer, horses, snow, a beautiful natural pine reserve, lakes and streams - that make New York's Long Island more than just a summer beach playground.

And in its midst, an abandoned airport on the eastern end of the island - with almost 20,000 vehicles ruined by Superstorm Sandy. 

These vehicles, and thousands more at other sites, continue to be transported from the hard-hit storm areas every day.  They may sit here for weeks or months until salvage companies come, take them away, and sell them - primarily to online buyers around the world.  It seems that as one car leaves, there is another to take its place. 

“They have been swept by the Atlantic Ocean down the roads, slammed into buildings and other cars," said Richard Amper, executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society. "If they were intact they would not have been written off as totally worthless by the insurance companies.”  

The group believes these cars, and those at other locations, create a hazard to Long Islanders' drinking water - due to the leakage of gasoline, oil, antifreeze and other chemicals into the local aquifers.

Three million people depend on the quality of this water.  They can not get it from upstate reservoirs, and what goes into the ground goes into their water, and this should be none of it,” he said. 

The Town of Riverhead negotiated a $2.7 million contract to store the salvaged cars for up to one year.  Town Supervisor Sean Walter says just because a car was submerged does not mean there is going to be leakage into the aquifer.

"We really believe any environmental disaster claims are really unfounded, and objectively looking at these vehicles they do not look any different than any vehicles parked at a suburban mall across the country,” he said.

Copart is one of the major salvage companies handling the Sandy vehicles.  A man identified only as Brian gave us an idea where these cars will end up.

“All over the world, really.  We have got a lot that are going overseas to the Middle East, a lot to Africa, different parts, and a lot going down Central America,” he said.

There are concerns in the U.S. that Sandy-damaged cars are being sold to unwitting buyers, and many law enforcement agencies in the country give advice on how to check for damage.  As one Texas salvage dealer said, in any flood-damaged car sale, there is one thing to remember, “Let the buyer beware.”

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid