Insurance company denies couple’s claim for flood damage

Diane Crocker
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Geraldine Wall was holding on to hope Thursday that the City of Corner Brook would do something to help her and her husband, Fred, clean up the basement of their home.

Fred Wall prepares to empty a bucket of water in the basement of his home at 252 O'Connell Dr. Tuesday.

The basement of the Walls’ 252 O’Connell Dr. home was flooded Tuesday when the brook that runs between Woodman’s Road and Rivervale Road overflowed, sending water and snow down over Woodman’s Road and towards the Walls’ home.

Their property borders on Woodman’s Road and the force of the water pushed snow onto their driveway on that side. The water rose halfway up their basement door and, before settling back, flooded their basement.

On Thursday afternoon, Wall said she was “not very good.”

Earlier in the day she and her husband were informed by their insurance company that the flood damage was not covered by their policy.

Wall said they were told the water came from outside the home and that they should have had a drain in the basement.

“You could have had a hundred drains in the basement, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference,” said Wall. “But they don’t buy that.”

Since the flooding, Wall has also been in contact with the city.

“I’m just hoping the city will take some responsibility,” she said. “I’m not too optimistic, but who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised.”

She said the city dumps snow on the corner of O’Connell and Woodman’s all the time, and that snow is what she believes prevented the water from running off.

“I don’t know if that will constitute liability or not.”

Mike Dolter, the chief administrative officer for the city, responded to an interview request by email, and said he is reviewing the details and circumstances and was not in a position to speak on the matter Thursday.

In the meantime, the Walls continue to clean up.

With two big industrial dehumidifiers going in the basement, Wall said, “we’re getting it dried up pretty well, but you can imagine the smell from stale water.”

She said they had to throw out a lot things, and the water filled the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet and of a bureau.

“There’s water everywhere. It’s not a pretty picture.”

And she was still concerned about the fate of the furnace.

“It’s working now, but he told us that there’s no telling how long it will work because there was so much water in the firepot,” Wall said of a repairman’s assessment. She said they were told the firepot is lined with bricks and when they get wet they disintegrate.

“We’re just hoping and praying that it doesn’t go until we get everything cleared up.”


The Western Star

Geographic location: Rivervale Road, Western Star

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