Recovery slow for tornado victims

May 10, 2011 7:16:15 PM PDT
Sarah Wiley and her husband used to have just one tree in their yard, but nine more blew in when tornadoes struck North Carolina in April.

Their home, fence, and even their air conditioner were damaged.

"So it's been real expensive and we haven't got a thing from our insurance company. I'm sure there's going to be a check pretty soon. But pretty soon, we're running out of money," said Wiley.

Mark Rappleye is the contractor who is fixing things up for the Wileys. He says he doesn't get paid until insurance company writes a check to homeowners. Rappleye says the process is slow and sometimes frustrating.

"Yeah it is, really. We've got a roofer coming out now. They just decided to go ahead and pay for it out of their pockets," he said.

Bernie Hyland's home in Cottonade also suffered significant damage. He too hasn't gotten any money from his insurance company. But, he's a little more understanding about the process that's slowing things down.

"There's always one more thing to be looked at because, when you have some people coming and their walking in where there are joists, they want to talk about something. Somebody goes inside of the garage, an engineer comes, that slows things down. And they have to wait for the input in order for everybody to talk and finally say: here's the money," he explained.

Hyland says he doesn't mind the wait for his insurance settlement because USAA - his insurance company - plans on writing one check for all repairs.

But, there are folks who are financially strapped and say they can use whatever money their insurance company can give them right now.

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