Flash Flood Carries 16 Brand New Jeeps and Rams Off Dealership Lot in New Jersey
Like most Americans, Mother Nature can't resist a solid SUV.
People go to creative lengths to steal from car dealerships, but Mother Nature once again reminded everyone who's boss this weekend when a flash flood swept through a Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealer lot in northern New Jersey, carrying off at least sixteen new vehicles and sending them bobbing down an adjacent river.
NJ.com reports that a spate of strong storms on Saturday evening dumped around five inches of rain on the region surrounding Little Falls, a small town about 45 minutes west of New York City. The intense downpour caused the normally-small Peckman River to flood, quickly transforming it into a raging torrent with a strong appetite for Fiat-Chrysler products.
The lot surrounding Route 46 Chrysler Jeep Dodge reaches the riverbank, and Google Earth images show what in hindsight appear to be a dangerous amount of stock parked three and four deep just feet from the water's edge. As the floodwaters spilled into the lot, they picked up at least sixteen of them and swept them back into the river, where most ended up smashed together against a low bridge.
Video of the slow-motion disaster taken from the bridge shows the several Jeep Compasses, a Jeep Renegade, and at least one single cab Ram 1500 caught up in the crunching churn, with more models seen in the distance floating toward the camera like unwitting whitewater rafters. Most still have their window stickers and protective plastic film in place.
A local ABC reporter posted a picture of a smashed SUV that managed to pass under the bridge and float even further down the river. It's almost impossible to say with certainty what it is—maybe a Jeep Grand Cherokee—but its utterly destroyed condition demonstrates the sheer force of the flood. A towing service operator told ABC7 that sixteen trucks and SUVs had to be pulled out of the river, and that they were all "filled with mud, rocks and whatever you can flush into a car. It's there." The dealership was also damaged in the flood, and though it posted on Facebook that it intended to open for business on Monday, a call for comment was not answered.
Route 46 Chrysler Jeep Dodge wasn't the only business victimized in the area, with floodwaters filling strip mall parking lots in the area and sinking dozens of customers' cars. Hopefully the dealership can get a little business from those insurance checks.