Cleanup continuesDickinson residents voiced concerns at a public meeting attended by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., in Dickinson on Tuesday night regarding recovery efforts after a July 8 tornado in the city.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson residents voiced concerns at a public meeting attended by Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., in Dickinson on Tuesday night regarding recovery efforts after a July 8 tornado in the city.
“In any disaster there are lingering issues,” Pomeroy said, adding he hopes they can be resolved quickly.
Residents voiced questions and concerns about insurance problems they have encountered.
Tracy Tooz of Tooz Construction in Dickinson, said he believes people affected by the tornado need help making fair insurance claims. He said of about 30 clients who Tooz Construction helped, between 13 and 15 have settled their claims.
“Most of them settled for less,” Tooz said. “I think most of these people, as adjusters came in and were protecting the needs of their company, rather than the needs of the people.”
Cheryl Kelly, of Dickinson, found more damage to her home over a month after the tornado. She was concerned over whether or not those damages would be covered by insurance.
Larry Maslowski, division director for the property and casualty unit of the North Dakota Insurance Department, said damage that was initially missed should still be covered by insurance.
“I think those people that already have a claim on the books, it would be a matter of reopening that claim,” Maslowski said.
“So whenever it was discovered and in fact could be proved to be linked back to that event, it should be then considered,” he said.
Nathan Weiler of Dickinson found more property damage after repair of initial damage had begun. He said he now is unable to find a contractor.
“I gave up on fighting it,” Weiler said. “We’re pretty much stuck doing it ourselves.”
Shawn Kessel, city administrator, said 94 percent of homes involved in the tornado were insured.
Maslowski said only 10 formal complaints have come out of the more than 2,000 insurance claims that were filed.
One family with young children lived in a tent at Patterson Lake for about two months, Kessel said. He added they have found better housing now.
However, Pastor Steve Tangen, who is a member of the Unmet Needs Committee, said many people are still living in “less than ideal” conditions.
Mayor Dennis Johnson said it will take two to three years to replace all the housing lost in the storm. Kessel added low-income housing that was destroyed in the tornado will also be replaced.
Pomeroy said he thought the recovery effort, overall, went well.
“I was astounded how quickly this community got the debris cleaned up and looked like the beautiful Dickinson in the middle of summer again,” Pomeroy said.