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Many Residents Discover Homeowner's Insurance Does Not Cover Flooding

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RALEIGH — Many people are discovering their homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.Flood insuranceis a separate policy.

Many people who live on or near flood-prone areas already know that. The trouble isHurricane Floydhas extended the boundaries of where high waters can rise.

"I suspect that at many of these homes, the water was right at the eves of the roof," said James Lee Witt,FEMAdirector.

The view from a state helicopter shows flood waters extending into areas beyond traditional flood plains. Many home and business owners did not think they would ever need a flood insurance policy.

They are among those who will be looking for federal help to recover their loss.

"FEMA will help people $13,500 or so. It's the max they can do beyond insurance," said Gov. Jim Hunt.

Witt joinedHuntat a briefing Friday morning at the Emergency Operations Center. They are preparing for a flood of requests for low-interest loans and cash grants, and they know the help they can offer may not be enough.

"But I want to tell you a lot of those are poor families. All they have is in that mobile home, and some of it is destroyed. That's all they have in the world," said Hunt.

Hunt announced the establishment of the North Carolina Hurricane Floyd Relief Fund to help victims when insurance and government assistance falls short.

"The problem is our programs will not replace everything people lose. That's why the governor has started this donations fund because it just does not do. It's not fixed to do that, and if people don't have flood insurance, I can tell you they are going to be hurting. It's important that we help them," said Witt.

If you are interested in donating money to the Hurricane Floyd Disaster Relief Fund, you can call1-800-462-9021.

To apply for disaster assistance in the form of cash grants or help with temporary housing, you can call1-800-462-9029.