One Florida city is continuing to face massive bills to repair its water and sewer system damaged by Hurricane Michael. Panama City, the largest city hit hard by the Category 5 storm, has suffered ongoing sewage leaks. According to local reports, over 65,000 gallons of raw sewage ran through streets and ditches through the town and into area streams and waterways. The city manager said that there would be costs of $200 million to $300 million to revamp the water and sewer systems to prevent future spills. While officials said that the problems’ origin predated Hurricane Michael, the storm damage caused even more serious devastation.
Hurricane Michael has been called a forgotten storm because the damage it unleashed on major sections of Florida has gone largely unnoticed. Many of the areas hit hard were small towns and communities, away from major centers of political power or media attention. Hurricane damages remain in many areas with roads and buildings continuing to suffer from the effects of the storm. In many cases, people have left impacted communities and not moved back due to the devastation, slow repairs and a lack of affordable housing.
Homeowners and business owners who have remained in place have been forced to struggle with insurance companies on many occasions. Companies have delayed payments or denied legitimate homeowners’ insurance claims related to hurricane damage. As a result, while municipal bills are escalating to pay for major repairs, individual homeowners are also facing mounting repair costs, especially when their insurance companies refuse to fulfill their obligations.
Homeowners purchase insurance and pay for years in order to make sure that their homes will be protected, but too many face a difficult time receiving payouts on their hurricane damage claims. An insurance law attorney may be able to help people get the payouts they deserve.