Levee flood victims without insurance

January 7, 2008 7:52:57 PM PST
Floodwaters are beginning to recede Fernley Nevada where nearly 300 homes in a development have been under water since Saturday. Fernley is about 30 miles east of Reno, on interstate 80 and one of the main concerns is that and nobody there has flood insurance.

Whether it was sweeping the water out, tearing down drywall, or taking out damaged possessions, homeowners spent another day cleaning out their flooded homes.

"The biggest problem is the water in the crawl, and the cold. The cold is really taking a toll. The water in the floors is freezing. It can crack foundations. It's really hard to get it out if it's frozen," says Cody Walker, Sears Carpet & Upholstery.

An estimated 1500 Fernley, Nevada residents have been displaced from their homes since Saturday.

That's when a weak levee broke after an unusually heavy rain storm drenched the high desert town that only sees an average of 5 inches of precipitation a year.

Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took an aerial tour of the damaged area, along with FEMA and state leaders.

He assured residents help is on the way with a letter headed to President Bush.

"Telling him this should be an emergency area. And it really should be. And we're looking forward to the President's action on that," says Senator Harry Reid,D-Nevada.

And most residents will need all the help they can get.

The heartbreak in all of this is most, if not all the residents, don't have flood insurance. It's not required. Many flood victims we spoke with say they think they'll be out of pocket at least $15,000 to fix some the damage.

Until they hear word about FEMA aid, most residents are relying on good neighborly help to get them through.

"Everyone is trying to help where they can. We're hopeful. We're going to try to take out a lot of loans. After the whole Katrina thing, we're not banking on them at all, unfortunately. The worry now is the flood victims want help so badly, they may not be paying attention to scam artists," says V icky Lasane, flood victim.

Dan Thiel is another flood victim. He says that strangers have been popping in and out of their neighborhood offering help.

"I don't even know who these people are. They just showed up and they're helping. I think it's the fourth house they've come into and got the carpet out for people."

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