Little Falls car dealership reopens after flood swept away cars

Posted: Updated:

A Passaic County car dealership has reopened after flooding damaged 200 vehicles on the lot.

Video posted on YouTube shows about 40 of the cars washed away amid heavy rain and flooding. The vehicles passed down the Peckman River.

"I was very upset and looking for a bridge to jump off the other day, but with the help of God we got through it and got our arms around it and moved forward,” says Route 46 Chrysler-Jeep dealership owner Frank Esposito.

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Esposito says that the dealership and lot saw 3 feet floodwater. It caused about $50,000 to $60,000 in damage to parts, along with the vehicles.

“We had three inches of mud in the whole place,” he says.

But Esposito says that with the help of his employees and other dealerships, he was able to reopen.

"We have other dealerships in our group.  Each dealership gives us 10 or 15 cars to get us back up online,” he says. “Almost every employee was here [with their families] with brooms, mops, shovels to help clean this up. It was remarkable.”

Esposito say insurance will not cover all of the costs.  He expects to pay millions out of pocket for the damaged cars.

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency for several counties in the state, including Passaic, due to the amount of damage to residences and businesses.

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