• City to accept claims for flood cleanup

    By: Alexa Ashwell


    CHARLOTTE - Clean up and repairs continue for homeowners in south Charlotte impacted by this weekend's water main break and the city plans to accept damage claims.
    A pipe burst and water rushed into several homes.
    Workers have been ripping out Sheetrock and using fans and dehumidifiers trying to dry out the walls and floor.
    It is a costly procedure that the average homeowner may not be ready for.
    A homeowner said he and his fiancée were at their home when the water started rising downstairs.

    They were among four adults, two cats and two dogs rescued in rubber rafts by emergency crews. 
    The city said a 12-inch cast iron pipe split Sunday morning.
    “My wife texts me the pictures,” said resident Daniel Lieb. “I was away all weekend, got home pretty late. I just couldn't believe it."
    Officials at the North Carolina Department of Insurance said a standard homeowner’s policy often does not cover water damage caused from something outside of the home.
    But FEMA said situations like that would be covered by flood insurance.
    Still, experts said it's best to have additional coverage specifically for water main breaks and sewage backups.  
    “A large percentage of claims that State Farm deals with on a regular basis are water claims so I require everybody to put it on there in my office,” Sarah Harris, State Farm.
    Homeowners without that coverage or flood insurance can file a claim directly with the city.
    Officials said they will review those claims after a rare scenario described by one neighbor as the city is still investigating what caused the water main to break.
    They suggest it could be related to the changing temperatures.

    Families left to clean up flood mess after water main break

    Emergency crews reopened Carmel Road in south Charlotte early Monday morning after a major water line break Sunday cut off water to several homes and forced firefighters to rescue some families from the rising water.

    Four feet of water surrounded homes in the area and three families had to be rescued.

    When Channel 9 arrived on the scene Sunday morning, water was gushing from the broken pipe, flooding the road and some nearby homes.

    Firefighters shut down the street and brought in their swift water rescue team.

    Three families and their pets had to be rescued from their homes using safety boats.

    Officials don’t know what caused the water main to break and it took crews more than 15 hours to fix it.

    Channel 9 spoke with one man just seconds after he and his family were pulled to safety.

    “This won’t be good,” Matt Wagner said.

    The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department released an update around 11 p.m. Sunday saying water service was restored to residents. Officials also said hydrants may be used as part of water quality.

    The road was reopened just before 5 a.m. Monday.

    Workers were out at the homes Monday, busy trying to clean up the mess. One homeowner told Channel 9 that he and his fiance were at home Sunday when the water started to rise downstairs.

    Workers were cutting away sections of the wall and using fans and vacuums to dry it out Monday morning.

    Channel 9 spoke with one neighbor who barely escaped disaster -- the water stopping just short of his home.

    “My wife texted me the pictures. I was away all weekend, got home pretty late. I just couldn't believe it,” said Daniel Lieb.

    The clean-up is very costly but because this homeowner and one next door have a specific coverage on their policy that covers water main breaks and sewer back-ups, it'll be handled by the insurance company.

    Channel 9 was told the insurance company will then go after the city of Charlotte for reimbursement.

    Insurance experts suggest reviewing your policy so you know what coverage you have.

    Officials are still looking into what exactly caused the water main break.

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