‘A long road ahead’: Auto dealerships in damage-assessment mode after Ida

Auto dealerships in southeastern Louisiana are in recovery mode after Hurricane Ida lashed the region Sunday and early Monday with heavy rain and winds up to 150 mph.

Dealerships are trying to assess the extent of the storm’s damage, said Will Green, president of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association. He said the process has been difficult because power remains out across the region, cellular service is spotty and many roads are blocked either by debris or floodwaters.

But Green says he thinks most dealerships in the region ultimately escaped a worst-case scenario akin to the one that occurred exactly 16 years ago when Katrina battered the Gulf Coast.

“Based on some initial reports, most avoided large-scale flooding and dealership damage suffered during Katrina, but Ida may have affected a few worse,” Green told Automotive News via email. “Most of the affected dealers I have been in touch with thus far are at a minimum without power. … Some have major damage to showrooms and inventory and have a long road ahead.”

Green said he had colleagues in Louisiana and across the country reach out to him before and after Ida’s arrival to offer well wishes and aid.

“It’s during disasters like these when I am reminded [of] what a great and charitable industry we work in,” Green said.

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