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Residents Were in Knee Deep Water, Insurance Agents Knee Deep in Claims

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  After six days, Kent and Ronda Phelps finally have an adjuster at their property near Hoover High School.

“A current was coming through our driveway, through our land--yeah, like a small river, very quickly because it's coming downhill and it's going downhill and we couldn't believe how fast it was, and how absolutely terrified you are at that moment,” they said.

Kent and Ronda say they got 14 inches of water in their basement, and their garage was seriously damaged. The car inside is totaled.

“We've had that car a long time, we love our little car, we just put a lot of money into that little car,” they said.

Now they have to get the car replaced, along with their dryer, water heater, air conditioner, and other odds and ends. Luckily, they have flood insurance.

“I know we'll make it, we're together, and we're together to be miserable and dirty and know that there'll be a better day,” said Ronda.

However, not everybody who sustained damage will be completely covered.

“Sewer backup, water coming from the drain that's covered if they have the right coverage on there, which most of the time they do. So that's not been a problem. But the surface water coming in and flooding basements, unless they have flood insurance, unfortunately, they don’t have coverage for that,” said insurance agent Mike Lane.

Lane owns an insurance agency in Norwalk and has seen his fair share of floods. He says he's working on at least 60 claims, and this round of flooding has in some ways been some of the worst he's seen.

“I dont think it was as widespread as some of the other flooding or heavy rains we've gotten, but I would say the areas that got hit got hit hard, and then the sheer amount of the vehicles being damaged in the floods, I don't remember that happening,” said Lane.

Lane says often times residents are required to have flood insurance if they live in a designated flood zone, but many homeowners living outside of flood zones go without that coverage.

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