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Ben Dampf
Ben Dampf
Attorney • (225) 302-8810

The Great Flood of 2016

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In 48 hours, the Baton Rouge area took in about 2 feet of rain. Watson, Louisiana saw more rainfall in a couple of days than Los Angeles has in four years.  More than 100,000 homes have suffered flood damage. Those efforts led Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Add to remark, “[w]e haven’t been rescuing people, we’ve been rescuing subdivisions.” It is estimated that 70% of all homes in Livingston Parish and one-third of all the homes in nearby Ascension Parish were flooded.

As the water slowly begins to recede, Louisianians are tasked with recovering from the widespread damage left by the Historic Flood of 2016. Family, friends, neighbors, faith-based groups, and charitable organizations have already responded with desperately needed immediate aid. Putting the rest of it back together again is a painful undertaking —one that this region unfortunately knows too well.

Many are faced with replacing their automobiles, repairing their damaged homes, and getting their businesses up and running again. Fortunately, some have insurance which may provide coverage for their losses. Importantly, coverage is limited to the terms and conditions of the policy unless those policy provisions violate the public policy of the State of Louisiana.

Depending on the policy, flood damage to automobiles may be covered by insurance. In particular, policy holders should look to the comprehensive property damage section of the policy. Coverage here is crucial to getting back on the road.

Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance usually does not provide coverage for damage caused by floods. If you or your business has flood insurance, contact your insurer to report the damage and be sure to document the damage with pictures and video. Be sure to document all damage including that to the structure and contents. Making lists of damaged items and their value is helpful to facilitating your claim.

For those without flood insurance, the federal government has declared 20 parishes as disaster areas. Those parishes include East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa — to include 16 others: Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana. In short, that means that various forms of federal assistance may be available to you. Apply for disaster assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov. Again, documenting the damage with pictures, videos, and lists well make the claims process easier to navigate.