State officials chide FEMA

State Insurance Chief Wayne Goodwin and Hurricane Recovery chief Bob Etheridge say they've heard complaints that federal inspectors haven't adequately assessed damage from Irene's floodwaters.

Posted Updated
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin
Laura Leslie
Updated: See below.

State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Hurricane Recovery chief Bob Etheridge are asking federal disaster officials to take another look at flood damage in North Carolina caused by Hurricane Irene.

In an October 28th letter to National Flood Insurance Program Claims Director James Sadler, Goodwin and Etheridge say they've heard complaints from affected residents that flood insurance adjusters didn't do their jobs. 

"In meeting with those individuals and businesses that suffered damage," the letter says, "we have learned in many cases the adjusters from the National Flood Insurance Program and the private insurance companies that provide flood insurance have not done a sufficient job of examining homeowners or businesses property or worse have failed to follow up or show up to evaluate the claims."

Goodwin and Etheridge say many of those with claims have received no payment, and winter is just around the corner. 

"We respectfully ask that the National Flood Insurance program and the private companies that also provide flood insurance policies in North Carolina send claims adjusters back to our impacted areas to reevaluate the initial inspections, follow up on inspections that were scheduled but were never

completed or in some cases were never performed," the letter says. "It is important for these claims to be evaluated properly and paid as quickly as possible so that these survivors can continue to rebuild their lives that they get the services that they paid for when they bought and maintained their flood insurance policy." 

Etheridge said he's been holding meetings with storm victims all around eastern North Carolina for weeks. He said the letter was precipitated by a meeting last Thursday in Tyrrell County, where he said the mayor, city council members and residents complained of insufficient help from NFIP.

"We want to give them a chance to fix it, and I think they will," Etheridge said. "We haven’t got a positive response yet, but I think we will."

Etheridge was quick to add his appreciation for the federal help so far. "They did send one of their top investigators last week, and he’s been trying to put fires out. But after Thursday, ti was my feeling we needed more than one person putting fires out. We need to bring in the fire truck."

Officials at NFIP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. I'll update here when they do. 

Update: Federal disaster officials say NFIP adjusters are headed back to NC to reinspect Irene damage. {{a href="blogpost-10329972"]}More here.{{/a}} 

Copyright 2024 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.