Most Waukon flood victims without flood insurance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Most Waukon flood victims without flood insurance


People in Waukon have more than just clean-up weighing on their minds, following unprecedented flooding early Sunday morning that sent water rushing into businesses and homes.

Since Waukon is not technically in a flood plain, most Waukon flood victims are without flood insurance.

Mike Fritz owns the building that houses his wife's store, Full Circle Consignments, which is one of several businesses on Allamakee Street that had flood water rush down the alley behind the businesses and into their basements.

"Our insurance basically said, 'I'm not going to sugarcoat it. You've got nothing,'" Fritz said.

In his basement, crews worked Tuesday to repair the floor that collapsed after the flood, just one of many expenses not covered by insurance.

"And our inventory insurance that we thought maybe would help with our inventory does not cover anything because it was a flood as well, so everything that we've lost is just lost," Fritz said, "Everything that we spend to rebuild is coming from a bank, I assume at this point. We don't even know really yet what the plan is."

The flooded alley dumped some six feet into Dennis Hill's basement. He owns Hill's Plumbing and Heating and also is without flood insurance.

"Depending on what things are, about $10,000 with what I had for equipment downstairs," he said, estimating his total loss from the flood.

Mike McMillan owns McMillan Muffler auto shop on First Street northwest. His shop took on multiple feet of water. He said Tuesday he estimated he lost some $100,000 in equipment alone, yet his insurance company cut him just a $10,000 check.

McMillan spoke with Governor Terry Branstad Tuesday morning, who visited Waukon to survey the flood damage, which he called, "devastating." His visit came just one day after he gave Allamakee County a disaster declaration.

Allamakee County emergency management coordinator Chris Dahlstrom said he estimates damages to secondary roads at $800,000 and damages to county parks at $250,000.

State officials are now pursuing a federal disaster declaration for Allamakee County, as well as eligibility for US Small Business Administration loans.

"Just hopefully we get help from FEMA," Hill said.

Without additional aid, some business owners would be left figuring out if they can afford to rebuild.

"We are a poorer community, I guess, and a lot of people are depending on their buildings and their incomes and their jobs, and it's all gone," Fritz said. "It's a lot of income for our family that we're out at the moment until we can figure out a way how to get things back to normal."

Through the state's disaster declaration, flood victims in Allamakee County can now apply for an individual assistance grant. They can do that through the Northeast Iowa Community Action office in Waukon by visiting them at 952 Third Avenue northwest or calling at 563.568.4224.

Dahlstrom asks anybody in Allamakee County who experienced flood damage to report it to his office, if they have not already done so. That number is 563-568-4233. Already, he said, the county has received more than 400 reports of damage.

Powered by Frankly