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Car dealers caught in cyclone, flood damage
Destruction Debbie: Damage done by tropical cyclone Debbie is expected cost billions of dollars as it moved its way from Queensland to New South Wales. Photo credit: ABC
Severe flooding, storm damage expected to take toll on Qld and NSW dealer stock
31 March 2017
MOTOR vehicle dealerships in Queensland and New South Wales are expected to be
hit with huge damage bills to both rolling stock and infrastructure left in the
wake of tropical cyclone Debbie.
Hitting Australia’s north-east coast in the last week of March, the cyclone
landfall at Airlie Beach in Queensland’s Whitsunday region before moving inland
southeast towards Proserpine.
Winds reportedly topped 260km/h with pictures emerging of stripped buildings
left in Debbie’s wake, but subsequent rainfall events caused by the cyclone
have extended the impact down through to NSW’s northern coastal towns and is
expected to contribute heavily to the damage bill as rising water levels and
flooding inundate commercial properties.
Dealerships caught directly in the Debbie’s path – including Rod Grittner
Nissan, Fraser Ford and Crossley Holden in Proserpine – are likely to have
suffered damage from strong winds.
Furthermore, GoAuto has received reports of flooding in Kyogle at the Des
Watson Ford dealership, as well as caryards in Murwillumbah and major flooding
in Lismore at key dealerships including Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ford and
Recognised as the worst cyclone to hit the region since cyclone Yasi in 2011 –
which racked up a $1.4 billion damage bill – Debbie has been branded a
“catastrophe” by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), which expects the
damage bill to run into billions of dollars.
ICA chief executive Rob Whelan said the insurance industry was
“harnessing its resources to help customers in a fair and timely manner”, and
an ICA spokesperson confirmed to GoAuto that 20,000 insurance claims have been
lodged as of Monday April 3 with an overall estimated insured loss of $224
However, the ICA could not offer a breakdown of which claims pertain to what
damaged – something usually updated on a regular basis – with an ICA
spokesperson telling GoAuto that “the data at this stage is very limited”.
“A while after these catastrophe events, we’ll generally have a breakdown of
residential, domestic auto, business property, fleet cars and stuff like that,
so that data will generally eventually come through, but at the moment there’s
just not (the information available),” the spokesperson said.
“It will probably take a good few weeks to get a reasonably complete picture of
what the losses are.
“Normally at this time we’d have a bit more of an idea, but there’s just not a
lot of data coming through because the weather is making it very hard for
people to get out and work out how much damage they’ve had.”
Photo credit: ABC
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