More than 3,000 cars ruined in Hurricane Ivan flooding have been crushed into three-foot by four-foot bales in preparation from being shipped off the island, Tom Moffitt of MC Restoration said Wednesday.
Originally, MC Restoration planned to take the roofs off the cars and then stack them on a barge heading for the United States, where they would have been crushed.
But the economies did not work out, Mr. Moffitt said.
‘We found out if you don’t crush them and put them in bales, you can’t get enough of them on the boat to make it worth while,’ he said. ‘They take up too much volumn.’
To address the issue, MC Restoration had to purchase a car crusher and baler for US$220,000 and ship it to the island in April.
Before crushing the cars, they have to be prepared, Mr. Moffitt said.
‘We take out the gas and other fluids and the Freon before they are crushed.’
MC’s car crushing efforts have been temporarily suspended because the company moved the baler to its Frank Sound processing site last week in preparation for continuing its work there, even though it has yet to get the official government go-ahead in writing.
‘(A government representative) asked me to move the baler to Frank Sound Thursday so it could crush loose metals. He said it would be a show of good faith, so we moved it,’ said Mr. Moffitt. ‘But it’s Wednesday now and we haven’t been told to go ahead yet.’
It was estimated in MC Restoration’s hurricane debris clean-up contract that there would be 10,000 cars for it to collect and ship off the island.
However, many Ivan-damaged cars were shipped to Jamaica to be repaired, and many others were repaired here and are now back on the roads.
As a result, MC Restoration has only collected about 5,000 cars so far, Mr. Moffitt said, adding that there are still probably 500 or more cars to collect.
‘We’re planning to get every one of those cars,’ said Mr. Moffitt.
After the election, MC was told to stop all of its work, but about three weeks later, it was told to continue with the car collection, he said.
Prior to that, a representative of James Lee Witt Associates monitored the car collection, numbering each one as it came to the storage yard, but now that task is done by a government employee.
Since there will be far fewer cars to ship off the island than stipulated in the debris clean-up contract, there has been discussion about having MC Restoration supplementing the Ivan-damaged cars with cars at the George Town Landfill to help free up space at the facility.