Guidance issued for Eastern Kentuckians to recover automobiles collected as part of flood cleanup efforts

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:16 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Retrieval efforts are underway to recover damaged or stalled vehicles from roadsides and waterways in the 13-county declared disaster area in Eastern Kentucky, officials with the Governor’s Office announced Friday.

State officials will begin a notification campaign to help owners locate and claim collected cars, trucks, and SUVs.

The recovery process is part of a coordinated effort between the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to supervise the transfer of vehicles to designated Vehicle Management Sites (VMS) and to contact owners or lienholders. In the past few days, about 70 cars, trucks & SUVs have been identified for the recovery effort in four counties.

Vehicles found in waterways or state/county right of way will be removed if they:

  • Block access to a public-use area,
  • Pose an immediate threat to infrastructure,
  • Are abandoned.

Notification Process

  • Notification attempts to title owners and/or lienholders will begin within 10 days of the vehicle arriving at a VMS.
  • State officials will make contact via standard or certified mail or by telephone if a phone number is available. If needed, vehicle owner contact information will be screened against a list of flood survivors temporarily housed in travel trailers or sheltering locations to aid in obtaining title owner contact.
  • Upon contact, the title owner will be told the VMS location where the vehicle can be retrieved and will be asked to schedule a date and time to visit the VMS within 30 days.
  • The title holder must present government identification, such as a driver’s license, and a copy of the vehicle title before moving the vehicle.
  • There are no storage fees when picking up vehicles at a VMS site. However, the vehicle owner is responsible for any fees associated with transporting their vehicle away from a VMS. Vehicle owners also may request to abandon their vehicle.

As part of the recovery effort, Kentucky Transportation officials may ask vehicle owners for personal information, like name and address. They will not request confidential information over the phone or electronically, like a social security number or birthdate.

To help owners of a missing vehicle check if their vehicle has been retrieved, KYTC has developed a webpage that will be updated frequently with information about vehicles that have been moved to VMS locations. Owners of vehicles collected by the state will still be contacted following the notification process listed above. For more information, you can click here.