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Rebuilding tornado-damaged homes is slow process

Posted July 6, 2011

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— In many cases, repairing tornado-damaged homes takes longer than building a house from scratch, contractors said Wednesday.

The process involves a lot of patience and sometimes requires making a stand.

Danny Bonds said he experienced one roadblock after another in trying to rebuild his home on King Charles Road in east Raleigh.

"It was really frustrating at the beginning," Bonds said Wednesday, as a contractor finally started on repairs.

His insurance adjuster initially gave him a check for $35,000 for repairs, but he maintained that his losses were triple that.

"They sent other people out, and things just changed. I mean, it was like night and day," he said.

The insurance company eventually gave Bonds more than $100,000 to fix his home.

"It's absolutely wonderful," he said of seeing a crew working on his home. "This is what we've been looking for – to get back in our house."

The process has been slow going for a lot of tornado victims even after they get the insurance check.

"A lot of paperwork is involved," said contractor Bob Smith, who has three homes in the McKinley Mill neighborhood in northeast Raleigh in the pipeline.

Tornado damage repair Rebuilding tornado-damaged homes is slow process

For some homeowners, Smith said, it could still be months before work gets started on their houses. One of the McKinley Mill homes will likely take two months to fix, he said.

Bonds' contractor, Marcellin Hodge, said mold has developed in many storm-damaged homes since the April 16 tornado. That requires tearing apart homes before rebuilding them.

"You're taking the bad off, but you're also trying to save the good," Hodge said.

He said repairs to Bonds' home likely won't be complete until late September. Still, Bonds said, watching the crew at work makes him feel better.

"To see them on the job just working hard, working hard, working hard, it's indescribable. It is truly joy for my soul," he said.


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  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jul 7, 2011

    "That insurance was worth every penny we paid for it."

    Glad you think so. Later this year it will cost us all 10-15% more because of all the payouts. Let me know when you get your revised bill.

  • bmg379 Jul 7, 2011

    Nationwide has been a blessing to work with,my agent suggested proper coverages.Only out of pocket expenses I had was to get stumps ground/removed. Bank of America on the other hand has been insane to work with ,holding my checks,taking 3-15 days with each step,faxing and refaxing contractors invoices.Guess we homeowners who have never paid our mortgatges late get any kind of priority treatment.Bank of America is a big company who does not care about their customers and has horrible customer service.I will after I get all my repairs finished and my home reappraised be taking my mortgatge elsewhere.FEMA came to me saying they could possibly help and was a total waste of time to deal with.

  • rlwieland Jul 7, 2011

    We've got to get all these other countries built before we can take care of the tax payers who Washington sends all our money to Paka, Afgan, Iraq and many more. How dare we expect to be able to rebuild our homes before they get ther countries built. Stupid. I feel for these people.

  • hangry Jul 7, 2011

    We had roof and gutter damage and had our garage door destroyed by a falling tree. Nationwide had that stuff fixed in no time. That insurance was worth every penny we paid for it.

  • lauraleigh Jul 7, 2011

    What? Contractors from out of town won't come to Raleigh to build houses or do a repair job?

  • Bring on the 4 Dollar Gas Jul 6, 2011

    This is Meeker's fault. I rode through downtown today and he needs to get off his stiff and clean up the mess that HIS city is now living with because he'd rather build a parking garage or amphitheatre instead of put millions into cleaning up what HE is responsible for cleaning up. These people don't have the means to move this stuff. GET OFF YOUR RUMP Meeker and do something for your city besides bad mouth those who aren't from around here.