Flood-Damaged Cars Being Hastily Sold

In this Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 photograph, thousands of storm-damaged and water-logged cars, ruined by Superstorm Sandy, are parked in a 22-acre field in Mansfield, N.J. Officials in the southern New Jersey town say the facility there cannot continue to store 2,400 cars damaged in Superstorm Sandy. The Mansfield Zoning Board of Adjustment declined Monday to grant a variance to Vanco, a truck trailer manufacturer that wanted to continue storing the cars for Copart, a Dallas-based firm that buys and auctions salvaged cars. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Most of the 3,500 vehicles that suddenly appeared at an industrial site in rural Mansfield Township after Hurricane Sandy struck last fall have aready been sold, the township's zoning officer says. 

Last month, Robin Bucchi cited Vanco Trailer Manufacturing for creating an eyesore and for accepting an influx of ruined cars, trucks and boats without getting local approvals. 

Vanco had leased part of its truck manufacturing site to Copart, a national agency that auctions vehicles  online.  Bucchi ordered all of the vehicles removed immediately or face increasing fines of $500 a day. 

As of last week, she said only 1,315 remained at the site. 

Copart also hauled vehicles to three other vacant sites across the state, including the Englishtown Raceway in Middlesex County. 

New Jersey officials caution consumers to check the Department of Motor Vehicles website to see which vehicles were damaged in the storm before purchasing any used car or truck. 

Vanco still faces a court hearing March 7.