Good news for dozens of homeowners in Grand Rapids who saw their homes flooded with raw sewage.  They learned more about the claims process, and when they could be reimbursed for the damage, at a special meeting Thursday night.  More than fifty people learned that the clock is ticking to get their claims to the adjusters.

The flooding started May 11.  There was heavy rain with construction going on in the area, a combination that caused a sewage back-up.  “Two and a half feet of water, sludge,” Mark Newton recalled to FOX 17 News.  “Very, very nasty.”  Newton was one of several dozen residents who found raw sewage in their basements, damaging electronics, family heirlooms, even mechanical equipment.

Georgetown Construction was working on the sewer line, and immediately started working with homeowners with clean-up.  Almost a month later, there are still questions about the insurance claims filed with the company.   The City of Grand Rrapids has been working with Georgetown Construction and it's insurance carrier, American Safety Insurance.  “ The contractor has been very forthcoming and has worked hard to make things right,” Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong said.

Homeowners have to turn in a claim by June 24th.  The insurance company for Georgetown Construction is planning to pay out on many expenses incurred by the back-up.  Once adjusters and homeowners agree, the claims could be paid in as little as two weeks.  Several homeowners say they'd like reimbursement soon.  “I've gone ahead and put money out of pocket to put my tenants up in a hotel,” Paul Leason told FOX 17 News.  “I've gone ahead and done a lot of fixes on the house myself so I can get the tenants back in there.”

Bad news is heirlooms or keepsakes may be deemed worthless by adjusters.  Insurance will only pay out adjusted value, not the cost to replace items.  "In a house, you have a stereo, say you paid $400 for it and it's all damaged - now here's $100?” homeowner Mark Newton questioned.  “We've got to be able to fight.  Where's the borderline to that?"

If you couldn't attend the meeting, you can contact the City of Grand Rapids Risk Management Office at 616.456.4670.