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Real Flood Stories: Rich Smith

We never imagined anything, you know, I mean it's a creek, it's not a river, it's not an ocean, it's not a lake. Um, you know, to think that the creek, little Sugar Creek would overflow its banks and ruin our house. We never thought in a million years that that would happen.

We closed on the house on December 20th. And I get a phone call from my banker telling me that, you know, Rich, you know, you're in a flood plain, you need to get your homeowner's insurance and you need to get, also get, you know, flood insurance prior to us closing, otherwise we can't close.

18 days later I get a phone call while I'm at work in Chicago saying that, ah, Rich, your house has got, you know, completely underwater. My stomach just dropped to the floor and the first thing , I thought about was, you know, having flood insurance. I mean we were, come down the next day, couldn't get here by, by car or vehicle or anything else and had to get here by boat to look at the damage.

The house actually shifted, you know, 2 or 3 inches off of its foundation. All the water had come up through the vents and through the crawlspace. The water was, you know, approximately 3 feet in the house, 4 to 5 feet in the garage. The refrigerator over here was actually floating on its back upside down in the water. The linoleum, if you can, if you can see, that the linoleum, this is uh, used to be white linoleum and it's mud that I'm actually scraping.

The claims process was pleasant, it was a, it was a relief, it was, I couldn't have imagined it any better than, than what it came out. I mean I was skeptical going in, when I made the phone call but they never, never made me wait, never made me feel unimportant, never made me feel like a number. When I originally opted to go for the full $250,000 I was questioning myself whether it was really necessary or not. So after the flood and everything happened and the adjustors came out and we started walking through the house together and he started pointing out, you know, all the little things that are wrong and all those little things that were damaged.

I mean, there's $220,000 damage to my house and 4 days later I had a check.
I'm the perfect example of what can happen. This property's never flooded, since it's been built 40 years ago it's never had a drop of water on the house or in the house. Now I've got 4 feet in it.
If you're living anywhere next to water, within a close vicinity to water, you know, buy flood insurance.

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