Ike funding deadlines nearing

September 9, 2010 4:35:54 AM PDT
Monday is the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike and an important deadline for some victims seeking financial relief. The damage came in small waves for some, but for one San Leon homeowner, it was a big surprise. So was the bill for cleaning it up. Marty Kaminsky evacuated his San Leon bay-front home for Hurricane Ike.

"What I remember is coming back to mounds of debris," Kaminsky said.

But that was nothing compared to what was now docked on his front yard.

"It was just amazing to see this thing that towered over my three-story house," he said.

That thing was a 140-foot long ferry, and boy did it draw the attention.

"It was a tourist attraction," Kaminsky said. "It got so bad that my neighbor got fairly gruff with folks coming by."

Kaminsky just wanted it out of his yard.

"My insurance company wouldn't do anything. They said that was totally outside the policy," he said.

The owner of the ferry told a scrap metal company they could have it if they took it apart.

"That's all it was, just a construction site," Kaminsky said. "They'd stack up big chunks of steel."

The 400-ton ferry took crews five months to cut apart, but even after it was gone, Kaminsky was left with one big mess.

After the torches were out and the metal was hauled off, his yard and bulkhead were destroyed. The palm trees, a pier and a boat dock were mostly gone. The repairs cost $30,000 and all came out of his pocket.

Kaminsky has debated whether to try legal action in an attempt to get reimbursed for the damage, but time is running out for Hurricane Ike victims.

"Depending on whether they received a denial letter for coverage from their insurance company or an underpayment, such as a check that was issued to them with a payment on their damages, that will tell us more as to what the status of limitations is in their particular case," said Renee Sigmon with Mostyn Law Firm. "So it's really important that people bring their documents in when they're determining whether they need to file a lawsuit."

"I would have thought one would have had more rights in a situation like that," Kaminsky said.

Almost two years after the storm, the San Leon homeowner says his view of the bay is starting to look normal again.

"It's a surprising situation that I hope I won't repeat," Kaminsky said.

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