DAVENPORT, Iowa - It will take weeks to fish everything out of the swollen Mississippi River. A truck with a hook lifted a blue dumpster out of the water on Tuesday, May 7th. It's taking longer to get a resolution for car owners like Tracy Malmstrom. Her brand new Honda Civic is parked in a couple feet of water. She bought it four months ago, and it has only 3,300 miles on the odometer.
Malmstrom moved her car to a spot on the street on Tuesday. She normally parks in a lot off River Drive, but she moved her car when everyone in her downtown Davenport office was warned about high water. But when the flood barrier broke, her car was swallowed up in minutes. It was easy to spot with the windshield wipers going back and forth - swish, swish, swish.
"People were saying I was in it [the car] and jumped out," she explained. "It did it on its own. They did say the window rolled down and the trunk popped. It's a safety feature on the new cars, so you can get out."
Her car is stranded there with five other cars belonging to her co-workers. They pass by them every day as they go to work.
"The Coast Guard took us out there in a boat. It was hard. It's a car, but it was full of water. It was kind of surreal and heartbreaking. A couple girls took it harder than I did," Malmstrom remembered.
Now she's working with her insurance company, trying to convince her agent to declare the car totaled, without an inspection. She says it makes sense, given the car has been underwater for a week. The towing company won't pull the car out without Coast Guard approval.
Best case scenario is for Malmstrom to break even on a new car, after her deductible. But she's afraid she will end up owing more than it's worth. She didn't have gap insurance coverage that would have replaced her car.