Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The River Rat Gazette Issue #3

Hi everyone, I've decided to retitle my blog temporarily to The River Rat Gazette. Our street is not a river any longer--more like a muddy, sludgey river bed. But hey, close enough.

Well, we are still in the hotel, and will be there another two days at least. The furnace is not running because there's mold in the furnace vents. So it's still unsafe for us to return to the house to do more than grab a few things here and there. The kids of course are thrilled. No cleaning of bedrooms, indoor swimming pool, movies, fast food... ah, it's heaven for them. We're pretending we're in Paris. It works if you don't look outside!

The property losses from the basement and storage area are total. In addition the drywall and sheetrock have had to be removed to the water line as well as the stucco. Also, in all likelihood, both cars are totalled. The insurance adjuster hasn't been to see them yet (they're overwhelmed) but from what the service shops said to us that will pretty likely be what happens. We will then get low blue book value on both cars. For one of the cars, that basically covers the remaining payments, so that's a wash (pardon the pun). No more payments but no more car either. For the other, it's only a few thousand dollars, since the other was a 1999 van and we receive the lowest blue book number.

We've lost tens of thousands of dollars worth of items in the property and the hotel bills are adding up. The insurance company is being so difficult. I can't even begin to tell you. But we refuse to lie down and take it. We're going to fight for our rights and our property. I can't say a lot else about the insurance situation now, but we are in contact almost continually with many others in the industry and will be contacting some attorneys who handle this type of thing. I could very well go ballistic here in public on the blog, and I just can't do that. But, if you want to hear the skinny, you can email or call me. I'll reply when I can.

For those who've been writing to and phoning us, we are so grateful. I am flooded in email (ugh, another bad pun) now but hope to get back to all of you at some point. We are so grateful to Karen Dionne and Chris Graham at Backspace and all their members (usually their url is here, but they may still be offline--so you can also find them at their blog at Publishers Marketplace),for their amazing support and generosity. And my fellow bloggers at The Girlfriends Cyber Circuit have been so kind and supportive as well~There are just so many people who have been so wonderful~too many to count. (And doesn't THAT say something wonderful about all of you! We are really blessed.)

I'm still in shock that this happened. What gets me is that public safety gave NO ONE any notice WHATSOEVER that this was about happen. Had we known, we would have moved stuff out of the way, moved the cars and gotten out. We had 10 minutes notice, and that was only because we happened to be up and moving at 4:30 AM. We got our kids, our insulin, some clothes, and got the hell out. Most of our neighbors awoke to a river outside their window, puppies wailing in crates in the basement as they were about to drown (both puppies were saved, thankfully), or dogs splashing toward their beds. What's more, a neighbor down the street called the sherriff at 1 AM to ask if they should evacuate and move their cars. "No, go to sleep. It's fine." Next morning they had lost both cars, their entire contents of their garage, and were marrooned on their second story.

Sorry, but there are so many things about this that are so ridiculous, not least of which is the behavior of the insurance company. I've just printed tons of information about flood damages and we've got several numbers for attorneys who take on these kinds of cases. That'll be the rest of the day. Please email me if you have legal expertise on these types of matters or if you know someone who does at either my personal email address (if you have it) or my writing address at theresnoforgetting((AT))yahoo((DOT))com. And please put Attorney or something in the subject line as I have a lot of messages. (Everyone's been so supportive!)

Thanks again to all. I will write to you when time permits. For now, it's off to the desk and phone.