Many in Superior lacked flood insuranceClean-up efforts continue in Superior and neighboring Duluth, following last month's heavy rains and widespread flooding.
By: By Noah Ovshinsky, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Clean-up efforts continue in Superior and neighboring Duluth, following last month's heavy rains and widespread flooding. Many residents will be left with expensive repair bills.
Douglas and Bayfield counties received up to nine inches of rain during a 48-hour period, leaving countless basements, roads, and even the University of Wisconsin-Superior library flooded. Since then, insurance agents have been busy fielding questions from clients. Many are looking to know what is and is not covered. "Everybody is mad," says insurance agent Rick Rockwood. "Everybody is really really mad so it’s not working well for us up here but we're getting through it."
Rockwood works in Superior and says people are regretting not buying the right kind of insurance, some because they thought they'd never need it.
"A lot of homes in Superior are older homes and are on the old sewer separation system that never ever had water and never had sump pumps in the first place, because of that and they all got water this time,” he says.
According to Superior officials, about half of the affected properties had no water-related coverage. The other half did have some kind of insurance but Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen notes that in many cases it only covers a fraction of the total repair bill.
“Those that do have basic policies," he says. "The four, the five thousand dollar addendums for this kind of disaster and as you would imagine in most cases that doesn’t cover half of the damage.”
Hagen says if the area receives a federal disaster designation through FEMA, homeowners might receive some financial assistance. But he says he doesn’t believe Superior will qualify.