It has nearly been two months since the New Zealand faced two severe weather events causing flooding, slips and other damage across multiple regions of the North Island and yet, around 50 cars still haven’t been found.
Speaking to 1News, John Ellerton, head of salvage at Manheim Australia/New Zealand said his crews have yet to locate between 40 and 50 vehicles lost as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The company has written off approximately 8500 vehicles so far due to the aforementioned weather events and claims this is the largest disaster it has dealt with since the Christchurch earthquakes.
As of February, insurance companies have received over 21,000 claims with 16 per cent of that figure being for vehicles damaged by the floods. That means around 3360 claims so far have been for cars, trucks, and other motorised vehicles.
Many of the lost vehicles are likely hidden in hard to reach areas which the flood water carried them to. It’s also possible they are buried under layers of silt and debris.
“The significant volume of water in the events can see those vehicles carried quite considerable distances from where they were first picked up and deposited in far flung locations that you don’t expect them,” said Ellerton speaking to 1News.
One motivation for finding the cars is limiting any further impact they may have on the environment as well. This could include oil or fuel leaks into waterways and other harmful effects.
People are being encouraged to contact the police if they find a missing vehicle.