Fremont residents mop up, look for answers

February 6, 2012 5:59:36 PM PST
People in one Fremont neighborhood are concerned the coming rain is going to make a bad situation even worse. Their yards are already soaked because of a water pipeline release over the weekend.

It's going to be a race against time with rain heading their way. Homeowners still have personal belongings outside. Some are complaining their insurance company isn't offering any help.

"Right now I'm basically panicking," Rohit Verma said.

The reason Verma and his family are panicking is because they're not sure who will foot the bills. Right now, they're going through clothing damaged by the flood and taking photos to document their losses.

"I don't have an adjuster here deciding what I can junk and what I cannot," Verma said. "If I make a call and later on they don't agree to it, I'll be liable for my decisions. I was hoping to rely on my insurance company, but those guys are washing their hands off."

Verma says a Farmers Insurance claims agent told him they are not covered for flood damage.

A wall of water 2-3 feet high flooded the Verma's garage and yard late Friday night after crews from the State Department of Water Resources worked on a pipeline on a hillside across the street.

Fifteen yards and four garages along Wabana Street were flooded until the water could be turned off.

The pipeline is part of the state water project.

ABC7 contacted Farmers Insurance. A spokesperson issued a statement saying, "Our team is looking into the coverage issue. We never would tell a customer to fend for yourself."

Another flood victim, Cindy Reak, said her insurance company, AAA, was more supportive.

"They explained to me that they will pay the claim for the emergency that the Restoration Management Comapny is taking care to get the water out, but then they will go to the state to be reimbursed that way," Reak said. "They explained to me that we will have to pay the deductible up front and then they will go to the state to get our deductible back."

ABC7 also went to Fremont City Hall, but the deputy fire chief said the flood was not caused by the city.

A spokesperson for the State Department of Water Resources didn't shed much light on the situation, saying he didn't know how the insurance claims will be handled. But the agency is actively working to make sure the homeowners are made whole.

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