Flood Checks Smaller than Expected

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Cortez Taylor looks at his crumbling home on Robert E. Lee Drive, with the foundation cracked, his kitchen floor caving in, and floorboards buckling.

He says an insurance adjuster for the city came out a few weeks ago, assessed his damages, and told him he would max out on the $12,500 flood grant.

It didn't quite work out that way.

"Four days later, I got a letter from the city saying that I qualified for $9,900. The part I don't understand is they said they would cover $10,000 for the structure and $2,500 for personal items, but there is $9,000 damage on my outside wall alone," said Taylor.

According to the Assisstant City Manager Lisa Goodwin, they grants will only pay for structural damage inside the homes, not cracked foundations on the outside.

Still, Cortez isn't complaining, saying that something is better than nothing.

His next door neighbor, on the other hand, is starting to lose faith in the city.

Willie Hodge was only approved for  about $6,000, after giving them an estimate for $12,000 in damages throughout his home.

"The water went down into the basement and killed my furnace. I had to replace the whole heating system, which they said they wouldn't pay for," said Hodge.

Goodwin say the city's estimates were based on independent adjusters who spent hours with each resident, and their recommendations were not second-guessed.

That answer doesn't add up for residents who say they were shortchanged.

"Yes, I am upset. I don't know if we are going to accept it at all. A neighbor and I talked about pursuing it in a different manner, because its just not fair," said Hodge.

The city manager's office says checks will start to go out next week to people who have filed the proper paperwork.

So far, 62 families around the city are eligible for the program.

Some of these residents still haven't decided whether to sign on the dotted line and accept the money, or go to court.