Attorney offers advice to North Park flood victims

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SAN DIEGO – The pipe that burst early Thursday in North Park has been repaired, but the recovery is just beginning.

The 30-inch diameter cast iron pipe broke around 4 a.m., sending a deluge of rushing water into the community. Dozens of homes, garages and cars were left waterlogged.

“Every room was soaked. The water was up to more than 2 feet,” said Luciano Orozco. “I already called the insurance company. They gave us an estimate between $25,000 all the way to $150,000."

Read More: Clean-up continues after water pipe ruptures in North Park

Attorney Evan Walker said unfortunately, most homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flooding.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is absolutely not covered,” said Walker. “If the homeowner got flood insurance, then they’re covered.”

Walker said in most cases, people do not carry flood insurance. He said the next best step is filing a claim with the city but warns there are time limits.

Read More: Ruptured water pipe turns streets into rivers, floods homes

“The timeline is you have to make a claim within 6 months of the date of loss. Once that’s done, the city has 45 days to respond,” said Walker.

Should the city deny the claim, Walker said you can file a lawsuit, but it has to be filed within 6 months.

“I don’t expect the city to come out and fully compensate these people for their loss,” said Walker.

Most would be moved to tears by the sight of the damage in Orozco's mother’s house, but he's taking it in stride. That's because when his mother took out the insurance policy on her home, she purchased flood insurance.

“It doesn’t surprise me anymore. She’s always a step ahead of us,” Orozco said. “90 years old but she knows what she’s doing.”

City water officials said all damage claims must be filed with the risk management office.

Walker said you should file claims with the help of a professional.

“Speak with a professional that will be able to apprise you on the best ways to make your claim successful,” said Walker.

He said under most auto policies, any cars damaged in the flood would be covered.