Most with Md. Flood Damage Uninsured, Redmer Finds

July 19, 2004

In the wake of floods in northeast Maryland, at least 80 percent of those who contacted state officials with damage complaints are not insured, state Insurance Commissioner Alfred Redmer said.

Insurance officials, in visits to Cecil and Harford counties last week said they found that most of those flooded out by heavy rains will now be turning to the state and to nonprofits to help them recover.

The aftermath of the storms is much like that of last year’s Tropical Storm Isabel, but on a smaller scale, Redmer said. Like Isabel’s victims, residents in northeast Maryland are finding they don’t have flood insurance or don’t have enough of it, he said.

“This is yet another reminder — two reminders in 10 months — that all of us, regardless of where we live, need to sit down with a trained, educated adviser and analyze our individual exposure to risk and make an informed, educated decision about what we’re going to do about it,” Redmer said.

State officials met with residents in Havre de Grace, Aberdeen and Port Deposit, Redmer said. They’ll visit Cecil County’s Perryville and North East.

Because most victims have no insurance, state officials are trying to refer residents to other state agencies that can help them. They’re also contacting charities and nonprofits that can help, Redmer said.

“Folks are in need, and they’re confused and frustrated as to where to go,” he said. “We take their information, find out what the problems are and find somebody to call them.”

The state emergency management agency hasn’t yet released its estimates of how much damage was caused by last week’s storms, when as much as 8 inches of rain was dumped on the region and caused creeks and streams to overflow their banks.

Federal, state and local officials also traveled the area in teams to assess damage to roads and sewage treatment plants, said Maryland Emergency Management Agency spokesman Quentin Banks.


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