ST. CHARLES, Mo. – The record rainfall caused flood damage to many homes and cars, which left St. Charles residents frustrated.

“They advised her not to drive the car, and to wait for insurance to take a look at it before she even starts it up,” said St. Charles resident Adam Higby.

In Hazelwood, a State Farm insurance agent, Ben Weeks said claims are pouring in. He said State Farm declared the area a catastrophe zone to help expedite its customer’s claims.

“If cars are completely submerged, they’re really just trying to get a check out to them for that car, they’re not even trying to evaluate the damage. They know it’s totaled,” said Weeks.

Weeks said he recommended increasing your protections if there are vulnerabilities in your coverage.

“You always want to give your insurance company a call. That’s first and foremost especially if you have a local agent, use them. That’s what they’re there for,” said Weeks.

The owner of iAutoAgent, Jay Grosman said if a flood-damaged vehicle leaves consumers in the market for a new car, he advised consumers to proceed with caution. He said flood cars can return to the market in fewer than 30 days.

“They’re trying to move these cars as quickly as possible. They’re going to go to auctions. Someone’s going to buy it,” said Grosman.

Grosman said customers need to work with a reliable dealer and he said it’s important to do your research on the car you want and the place you plan on buying it from.

“These detail companies can make these things look absolutely beautiful. But there’s certain things they can’t take care of,” said Grosman.

Grosman said warning signs for a flood-damaged vehicle include rusting metal components, water-stained interiors, and musty smells coming from air conditioners.