Residents Claim Central Parking Locked Cars In Garage Before Sandy, Charged Owners For Trapped CarsS

New York and New Jersey are still recovering from Sandy and many companies are trying to help storm victims. Central Parking Corporation doesn't appear to be in that category.

Motorists in New York say the company charged some customers for the time their cars were stuck in their garages during the evacuation and that the company locked other cars in a Lower Manhattan garage before the storm hit and destroyed them.

The news comes to us from an owner who parked his car on 57th street in Manhattan, which is on the same block as that huge crane that Sandy snapped.

The NYPD evacuated the area and he tells us he could not get to his car. He says it was stuck there, inaccessible, for a week. When he finally had access this Monday, he claims that Central Parking told him he had to pay even if his car was in an evacuation zone. It was a $477 charge. When he made some calls to clear things up, Central Parking was at first quite courteous, but when he reached the corporate office in Tennessee, he says they were anything but.

Called corporate in Nashville and they finally said that was the decision made in NY and that's that. Amazing.

The Tennessee office then reportedly told him that it was an Act of God, not their fault that the car was stuck in the garage. They told him that the client is responsible for the charges.

Basically they were like, go sue the crane building, we're not responsible.

We reached out to Central Parking several times but were unable to reach anyone for comment either in the New York office or in their corporate offices in Tennessee.

If it is true that Central Parking Corporation is charging owners for the time their cars were stuck in evacuation zones, it might not be their only dark moment after Sandy. The Lo Down NY reports that over 50 cars were flooded when storm waters rushed into their garage in Lower Manhattan, on Cherry Street. You can see those flood waters in the video on the left.

The Lo Down NY claims that Central Parking ordered the garage locked at 4PM before the storm hit. A number of people with cars parked in the garage, however, were at work. They couldn't get their cars out of the garage before Central Parking locked the facility. After the storm, the owners claim that Central Parking would not them access to the facility for the purpose of filing insurance claims. The location is still listed as temporarily closed and the group of owners is now reportedly pursuing legal action.

Central Parking Corporation is a business that must turn a profit and it is unclear what their legal obligation is to car owners affected by Sandy. If these allegations are true, we might say that they're not filling their moral obligation, at the very least.

Photo Credit: Chris Wade, Axis of Oversteer