Rental cars retrieved

LIHUE — Many of those evacuated from North Shore communities last month during the historic flooding were tourists who drove to the area with their rental vehicles.

Because the roads were blocked by numerous landslides and debris, many visitors had to leave their rental vehicles behind.

Since the single-lane, limited access road opened earlier this month, rental car companies have been working to retrieve the vehicles.

“We are still in the process of recovering our vehicles from the affected area and assessing damages,” said Lisa Martini, spokeswoman for Enterprise Holding Inc., the parent company of both the Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent-A-Car brands.

In all, she said, it appears that 40 of the companies’ rental vehicles might have been impacted by the disaster. Officials are still in the process of assessing total damages.

“We will work with our customers regarding issues related to coverage and claims,” Martini said.

None of the flood-damaged vehicles will be returned to the fleet, she said.

When natural disasters affect a community, Martini said supporting local recovery efforts becomes a priority for the company.

“In fact, as a result of the local floods, Enterprise Holdings in Hawaii recently donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross Pacific Islands Region to support Hawaii Disaster Relief,” she said.

This is in addition to the annual multi-million dollar commitment by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, the brand’s philanthropic arm, to the Red Cross’s annual Disaster Giving Program.

Martini said the company is prepared to move vehicles into the affected areas for those who lost their cars in the flooding.

“Whether it’s from the airport or other surrounding neighborhood locations, to meet the increased demand for customers needing a replacement vehicle because theirs was lost or damaged in the flood,” she said.

Throughout the United States, Enterprise Holdings Inc., operates 6,400 neighborhood and airport branch offices.

Inquiries about flood damages to Advantage Rent-A-Car and Dollar Rent-A-Car were not returned.

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Bethany Freudenthal, courts, crime and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or bfreudenthal@thegardenisland.com

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