BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Mechanics are flooded with cars that need repairs, but they say they can not help all of them. That's because most of the cars damaged in the disaster are a total loss. However, there is hope for some drivers.
Blaze Ragusa has been working on cars in Baton Rouge for 26 years, but since he opened Ragusa's Automotive, he has never seen flood damage like this.
Already a dozen customers have come to him with flooded cars. He has managed to save two, but the others were a complete loss.
"When the water gets up over the bumper, and sucks the water into the intake system, that's how it gets in there. Once the water is in the engine, a lot of times it will damage the engine," Ragusa said.
Ragusa said most flooded cars are a total loss, but some can be saved. He said the most important thing is to not start the car if it's been submerged in water.
"Do not try to start the car. If there's water inside there, and you try to turn that engine over, it's gonna do some damage," Ragusa said.
He said owners should get the car towed to a mechanic. He checks to see if there's any water in the transmission or intake system. He'll try to clean it out, which could save the car.
At Siegen Car Care, mechanics have been working on dozens of flooded vehicles. They say owners can tell if their car can be saved based on how much water was inside. If water got all the way to the roof, chances are it is a loss.
"If it just got water up to the door and the floor plans are wet, chances are it's salvageable," said Daniel Wilkins, the owner of Siegen Car Care.
Both Ragusa and Siegen Car Care advise that owners of flooded cars speak to their insurance companies right away.
Mechanics also said a car dealer should be able to tell owners if it can be saved.