Parking garage horror: 100 ruined cars

Sylvan Parking on Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, NJ

Leonard Weiss, owner of the Sylvan Parking garage in Hoboken – where many cars suffered an ill-fated demise – offers his commentary about the whole tragic event:

“On this memorable day, the Northeastern cities and ocean front sites were hit by the worst catastrophic weather to ever strike New Jersey and New York.

Although the ocean front communities received the brunt of the damage to homes and businesses, practically no city in Eastern New Jersey was spared.

Our own community of Hoboken probably suffered more damage than any other city in our state.”

“Fortunately, our Governor rolled up his sleeves and showed us why we are lucky as to have him governing NJ. His actions and help in reassuring the residents that he was going to do everything possible to come to the aid of those stricken by Hurricane Sandy, went a long way to calming most people. He has shown all of us that he is capable of dealing with a crisis of this magnitude.

Besides the residents of Hoboken, the business community suffered enormous damages. Very few people in Hoboken were spared.

As the operator of two garages in the city, we along with most of our customers have had to deal with many problems, affecting our business and our customer’s vehicles.

Over 3,000 automobiles, many parked in other garages, and many in streets or parking lots, were severely damaged by flooding, many beyond repair.

The weather forecasts were not too helpful. They forecast how strong Sandy was going to be and how much damage it would cause, but they never, except after we experienced the enormous flooding that hit us, that Hoboken would be so severely clobbered by the storm.”

“I am not sure how much any of us could have done had we been forewarned, but perhaps some steps might have been taken to lessen some of the damage.

As the operator of two garages, one on Marshall Street and one on Jefferson Street, we along with about 100 of our customers were the victims of an Act of God.

On Sunday, the day before we were struck, we were inundated with cars seeking to get off the streets. We took as many cars in as the garages would hold, believing that we were doing a public service; not as some people have implied, with profit as our motive.

We are a company that has been in business for over 50 years and have a sterling reputation. Unlike some gas stations we would never think of gouging anyone. The additional cars have caused us; not to make any money, but have resulted in substantial losses.

In our garage on Marshall Street we had our entire revenue control system destroyed, which will cost us well over $100,000 to replace. We also will require many additional employees to operate the garage as a valet rather then a self-parking operation. That is very costly.

In any event this entire disaster has been a terrible experience for just about every one living or working in Hoboken.
We are coping as best as we can, and with the understanding and cooperation of everyone we will, along with the rest of Hoboken, get back to where we were before Sandy struck.”

Leonard Weiss

Hoboken garage moves cars to known flood zones


Note: The original post has been edited to make corrections.

Oh boy – this sounds like a pretty shady thing to do. One parking garage in town apparently moved cars around before hurricane Sandy – to locations in the structure that are known to flood. WTF is up with that?

Were YOU affected at the Sylvan parking garage at 800 Jefferson Street?

100 cars wrecked at Sylvan Parking in Hoboken, NJ

“We had lost our new car in the storm due to flooding at the Sylvan parking garage on Jefferson. About 100 other cars were destroyed.

I have been a monthly garage tenant for 7 years. The attendants assured me that the car was on the second floor out of harms way. To my understanding another parking attendant had said they were no longer taking daily parking in order position the current amount of cars in the garage upstairs out of harms way. However a neighbor had mentioned from another attendant that when the owner had come by he instructed them to continue to take more daily cars in. So basically cars that were secured upstairs had been shuffled to the basement to accommodate more volume. This is infuriating, I wonder if Hoboken411 can post something about this to see if others affected in that garage want to research going after the garage company for damages? Although the adjuster was as fair as possible with us we will still be out about $10,000.

Any ideas on how I could rally the other monthly holders that read your site?”

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46 Comments on "Parking garage horror: 100 ruined cars"

3 years 2 months ago

We also got our car ruined from parking in this parking garage. We moved our car off the street because of the storm and potential flooding. We made it clear that is why we were moving it and were under the impression it was staying where he placed it (higher up). They have to be pretty ignorant to think it was ok for us to move our car off the street only to bring it even further below street level. When we came back to get our car on Tuesday we were told all cars were destroyed because of flooding.… Read more »

3 years 2 months ago

I don’t understand why so many people left their cars on the street to be flooded out in this storm. During Hurricane Irene, the streets were empty and everyone protected their cars by moving their cars to higher ground. For some reason there was willful ignorance for this storm as people knowingly let their cars get ruined by keeping them on the street and in underground and low garages.

There’s a reason so much new construction in Hoboken doesn’t have any ground flood units, it’s because they’re in a flood zone that prohibits them.

3 years 2 months ago

I am a monthly parker at this garage. On the Sunday before the storm, I pulled my car in and waited with it to make very clear to the attendant that I wanted my car parked upstairs. I then watched him park the car upstairs. I walked away thinking my car was safe. I returned after the storm to check on my car and learned it was moved downstairs. When I asked why they would move ANY car downstairs, they explained they were told to move cars downstairs because to many upstairs would be a fire hazard. This is an… Read more »

3 years 2 months ago

Not totally true, I’m a monthly holder for over a year and my car was ruined on the Jefferson side of the bottom floor. When I went down there afterwards, the vast majority of the cars were monthly, you can tell by the sticker on the rear view mirrors. You are right though, they arranged the cars for max profit. I am very friendly with the guys and asked them sat morning to please keep my car on the top when I brought it in because I knew the storm was coming. Went back Sat night to check and its… Read more »

3 years 2 months ago

I was speaking with another tenant telling him of how my car was totaled and this muppet who had no social skills tells me “Oh I gave the guy and extra $50 to make sure my car stayed upstairs.” After what I told him. Next time keep that info to yourself after someone just told you they lost your car. What a DB.[quote comment=”218033″]Not totally true, I’m a monthly holder for over a year and my car was ruined on the Jefferson side of the bottom floor. When I went down there afterwards, the vast majority of the cars were… Read more »

3 years 2 months ago

a) lease
b) parents bought it
c) easier cash from insurance than fraud
d) couldn’t fly back to the area when flights were canceled into NJ

3 years 2 months ago

I’ve been parking my car at this garage for 6 years. The attendants have, for the most part, been great. So, I was very unhappy to learn that my car, which I’ve been paying $250 per month to house there, was put in the lower level that everyone knows floods. I’m waiting to hear from my insurance carrier, but it sounds like my well loved car is most likely totaled. Before the storm came, I asked the attendants what would be done for cars that they happen to park on the lower level. (The attendants determine where the cars are… Read more »

3 years 2 months ago

I drive an SUV and am a monthly parker. I left my car there Saturday evening with the same instructions as everyone else, and when I returned on Wednesday, I was told the car was in the basement, and that I could not access it because it was flooded. I was finally able to get down there on Saturday, and it was parked in an aisle on the Madison Street side. My car was obviously totaled, and it looked like water had filled the entire cabin and submerged the car. Surveying the rest of the basement, they clearly put as… Read more »