In the wake of Hurricane Idalia’s landfall in Florida’s Big Bend near Keaton Beach on Wednesday, a local fire and rescue department has warned owners of electric-powered vehicles — including golf carts and scooters — that exposure to salt water can cause the vehicles’ batteries to catch fire.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue on Florida’s Gulf Coast issued the warning on Facebook Wednesday afternoon, telling owners to move their battery-powered vehicles out of their garages if they had come in contact with salt water, to prevent the fire spreading to the structure.
The warning was apparently triggered by a fire in a Tesla Wednesday in nearby Dunedin, a city just south of the unincorporated area of Palm Harbor.
“If you own a hybrid or electric vehicle that has come into contact with saltwater due to recent flooding within the last 24 hours, it is crucial to relocate the vehicle from your garage without delay.,” the post warned. “Saltwater exposure can trigger combustion in lithium-ion batteries. If possible, transfer your vehicle to higher ground.”
“This includes golf carts and electric scooters,” the post added. “Don’t drive these through water. PHFR crews have seen numerous residents out in golf carts and children on scooters riding through water.”
The state fire marshal warned last year in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastation of the threat the electric vehicle batteries posed to those living in coastal areas subject to storm surges.
Florida Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis had previously gone public with his worries before sending a letter last October seeking answers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about what the Sunshine State could be facing in the future.
In a letter sent Oct. 7, 2022, to NHTSA Executive Director Jack Danielson, Patronis set a deadline of Oct. 14 for the national agency to answer questions regarding the threat to Florida firefighters from electric vehicles in the hurricane zone with lithium batteries that have been damaged by exposure to saltwater and eventually ignited because of it.
In the letter, Patronis summarized his own experiences last week when he witnessed first-hand the difficulty firefighters experience extinguishing a fire in an electric vehicle.
“On October 6th, I joined North
Source: The Gateway Pundit