Nicholas Co. flood victims struggling with insurance claims

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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CARLISLE, Ky. (WKYT) - People in Nicholas County are still cleaning up after devastating flooding hit the county last week. But now, they’re facing more problems. Many are struggling with insurance claims for the damages to their homes and businesses.

Homeowners in Carlisle say even though they had insurance, they didn’t have flood insurance. So, at this point, they aren’t sure if they’re going to get any help repairing the massive amount of damage to their homes.

The morning of July 30 was a tough one for hundreds of families in Carlisle.

“We’ve been married 34 years and everything we have saved and had through the years, it all went out the door into the trash,” Walden Pridemore said.

“We actually had to go to the back which is higher and we climbed up, there’s a wall in the back, we climbed up on the wall and kind of had to get out that way,” Adam Morris said.

The governor’s office estimates the flash flood impacted about 100 homes and 30 businesses. It also killed a woman, whose home was swept away.

On Thursday people were ripping out their floors and several feet worth of the walls on the lower level of their homes.

They also said because they don’t live in a floodplain, they didn’t have flood insurance, even though their home was insured.

“I called them as soon as it happened and they said ‘sorry to give you some bad news but you were not covered with flood insurance,’” Pridemore said.

“They said ‘well we’ll cover your car but your house has not got the flood coverage so we can’t do a thing for you,’” Morris said.

Right now, homebuyers are only required to purchase flood insurance if they live in a flood-prone area. But the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report this week recommending Congress use FEMA to re-evaluate which properties are subject to that requirement.

It’s a change these homeowners say they wish had happened sooner.

“I think it would be a great idea. I mean the more people who knows about flood coverage and has it, won’t be like we were. You know, surprised and without anything,” Morris said.

The state is opening a multiagency recovery center in Carlisle to help people with damage. It’ll be open Friday and Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Nicholas County Elementary School gym.

FEMA is touring Carlisle Thursday. These homeowners said even though their insurance isn’t expected to help them with repair costs, they are hoping a disaster declaration will.

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