West Seneca Flood Victims Get Insurance Help

WEST SENECA, NY - State officials are now providing assistance in West Seneca to residents affected by the flood there 11 days ago. At this point, the state is not providing financial assistance, but is offering advice to flood victims dealing with insurance claims.

Personnel from the state Department of Financial Services is providing the assistance outside the Winchester Community Church.

"I myself just want to get my utilities on, everything that's gone is gone and I'm going to go on with my life," said Patricia Lepard-Grant, who sought help from insurance and disaster relief experts Wednesday.

For the past week, Lepard-Grant has been trying to make her home safe once again. While living with her son for the time being, she says she's spent more than $15,000 in repair work and cleanup costs on her home.

But, things have been moving slowly. She still doesn't have electricity or water throughout the house.

"I'm trying to count my blessings because like I said before, there was nobody injured in this catastrophe," she said.

Along with about 32 other flood victims, Lepard-Grant's looking to recoup some money from her cleanup costs. She doesn't have flood insurance, but does have homeowner's insurance.

"If they have that certain endorsement then usually there's a limit for $5,000 or $10,000 that they certainly can collect from a water peril like what happened last week in West Seneca," said Michael Romano, a specialist with the Department of Financial Services.

According to the state, Lepard-Grant could get more than half her money back.

"I have water back up insurance, which should cover my furnace and my electric, it's not going to cover my generator, my air conditioner or anything else," she said.

Meantime, the Town of West Seneca is working to provide financial relief to residents, who had their homes severely damaged. The homes are being reassessed. And the town plans to lower the property taxes on those homes by March 1, as a form of financial relief.

West Seneca officials won't rule out whether the state will provide financial assistance to the town.

"The state is doing what they can, there may be more coming, we don't know it's government," said Sheila Meegan, supervisor of West Seneca.

Experts at the command center say sometimes homeowners don't think they're eligible for a certain type of coverage, that they actually could be eligible for.

The command center will be at Winchester Community Church Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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