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Property owners receive state help for storm damage

Ashley Hirtzel

Questions are being answered for property owner who experienced snow and water damage during the November snow storm. The New York State Department of Financial Services is camped out behind the Tosh Community Center in South Buffalo Thursday to assist with insurance related issues.

West Seneca resident Alan Andress says the snow on his roof caused major damage to his Burch Avenue home, making it unlivable.

“There are cracks in the wall. There are cracks going up the doorways. I have windows with gaps in them, because the house had shifted,” said Andress.

During the storm state engineers forced him and his family to move into a hotel. Andress says he was originally told by the insurance company that he would be fully reimbursed for those costs.

“On Thanksgiving Day he calls me up and says, “We’re only covering the hotel up until today and that’s it.” I told him, “I can’t move back into my home, because code enforcement states that I can’t live in it.” He says, “Well that’s not our problem,” said Andress.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
Alan Andress is being assisted by Department of Financial Services representatives.

Andress says he was forced to return to his home, because he can’t afford it. He says he hopes the state can step in to help.

DFS Banking and Insurance Analyst Michael Romano says they’re going to assess each residents individual needs. He says they’re helping with all weather related issues not just from the November storm.

“Please bring your insurance policies, your homeowner’s policies. If you have flood policy bring that as well. If you were in an automobile accident because of the storm or the snow bring your automobile policy as well. We want to take a look at your relevant documentation,” said Romano.

The mobile command center will be at Depew Village Hall on Friday and the Lackawanna Senior Center on Saturday.