Importance of flood insurance after Hoosick Falls flooding

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A family in Hoosick Falls is still homeless after the apartment they rent was flooded earlier this month. Now they’re spreading word about how important it is to have flood insurance.

Feet of flood water rushed down Hall Street in Hoosick Falls on July 1, turning one backyard into a lake.

“I have never been so frightened in my life. The water, it just came, it came so quick.”

Now more than two weeks later, the water’s gone but the wreckage remains. Appliances, a mattress, and furniture are all ruined.

“It was complete devastation. It truly was,” Christine Sears, who lost a home in the flood, said.

Sears and her husband have lived in an apartment in a home for a decade. She thought having renters insurance would give them some relief.

“I had $50,000 coverage to protect my family, but because it was a flood, nothing was covered.”

It’s a mistake that can cost you everything.

An agent with Marshall & Sterling Insurance says renters insurance, while very important, is useless in this situation.

“Groundwater is always excluded and that’s where a flood policy would come into play,” Yvonne Stepnowski, of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, said.

Unlike renters insurance, where a $150 policy will generally get you $25,000 of coverage, the cost of flood insurance is based on a number of variables.

“What’s important is that clients call an agent and discuss what their needs are, what they’re looking for, and we will do what we can to find them the best coverage at the most adequate price to protect them if something does happen.”

Sears says her landlord canceled their lease after she told him they can’t afford to stay in a hotel while repairs are being made. Now, they are starting from square one, hoping others will learn from their misfortune.

“Get flood insurance. It has to be worth it because we lost everything because we didn’t have it.”

Looking out over all their belongings, her daughter Fallon wants everyone to know that it could happen to you.

“Expect the unexpected.”

The family is currently looking at new apartments. After first dealing with a water contamination crisis and now this, the family says they’ll be leaving the area.

“I love it here. This has been my home for 20 years and I love Hoosick falls, but it’s hard.”

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