‘Even the treadmills were floating’: Brighton family wants city to pay for flood damage

Problem Solvers

BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) — Beckie Luthey-Poorman’s husband was helping her get Christmas decorations from the basement the day before Thanksgiving when they noticed a layer of water covering the space.

The Brighton family called in a restoration team to drain the water and tried to figure out where it had come from. Hours later, more water was seeping in. The flow of water into their basement didn’t stop for days.

Luthey-Poorman says they contacted the City of Brighton, and eventually identified the source: a water main break on their street. City crews fixed the break, but the damage was done.

“We just want it fixed, that’s it. We want everything fixed. We’re not asking for $100,000 — just what we need,” Luthey-Poorman said.

They gutted the basement, ripping out drywall, shelves and carpet. They had to replace their flooded hot water heater and install a sump pump to try to drain the water.

Luthey-Poorman said their homeowner’s insurance policy only covers personal belongings lost.

“One of the things that was down here was my grandmother’s 60-year-old rug. That was devastating,” Luthey-Poorman said.

They filed a claim with the city, hoping to receive help with the damages. She said the city is offering $10,000 as part of a “good neighbor policy.” Luthey-Poorman said they don’t expect that will cover even half the repairs.

Know what your insurance policy covers

Carole Walker, executive director of Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, said cities often have a certain amount of government immunity in these situations unless there is negligence.

Walker recommends homeowners know exactly what their insurance policy covers, what it does not cover and what it would take to be financially prepared in this situation. She also recommends asking your insurance company about endorsements such as sewer backup and outside property water breaks.

The City of Brighton said their insurance company is in contact with the homeowner and is still processing the claim.

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