NEWS

Homeowners without insurance struggling after Burlington flood

11/05/2014 08:49 EST | Updated 01/05/2015 05:59 EST
Hundreds of Burlington homeowners are still waiting to learn how much money they'll get in disaster relief after a devastating flood hit the area last summer.

Many who visited a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Burlington to talk about financial assistance are struggling to cover what insurance won't.

Mark Pawlowich moved from Toronto for his dream home – but after the August long weekend’s flood, he found out his basic insurance only covered one third of the damage caused by the rain.

“It's been a constant battle every last minute of my day,” he said. Of the over 3,000 homes affected by water damage, 500 had either no insurance or not enough to cover damages.

Comic book collector Scott Garland says he had thousands of dollars worth of mint condition comics and sports memorabilia sitting in his basement when the flood hit. He didn’t have any of that covered by insurance, and now he has lost what he calls his retirement nest egg.

There were thousands of Superman, Spider-Man and X-Men comics sitting in his basement.

“The whole idea was to put them away and bring them back out 20 years later when I retire and have a very good investment when I retire,” he said. “I had sewage come up in my basement, flooded my whole basement out, never mind it completely ruined everything in my basement, it also ruined my retirement and all my collection,” he said.

Two months worth of rain fell on Burlington in just one night back in August as thunderstorms swept through much of southern Ontario. Highways were flooded, motorists were left stranded, and police called the situation "absolutely dangerous."

Homeowners have been dealing with the fallout ever since. The Burlington Community foundation has already raised more than $800,000 to help flooded homeowners who aren't fully covered.

The Ontario government is also expected to help out, but says it will only cover basic expenses.

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