Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Man's house pushed off piers, flood insurance won't cover damage

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BAKER - A homeowner says flood water pushed his house off its pilings and now he's having trouble getting the money from his insurance company to make it right.

Mike Burnette didn't get any water inside his house during the August flood, but the water created a big problem under his floor.

He tells 2 On Your Side his insurance company, Wright Flood, will pay to fix the floor, but it won't pay to level his house which is now leaning to one side.

Burnette and his wife Barbara moved into their little piece of paradise eight years ago. It's just five lots over from the Comite River but their home has never flooded before.

"We have never had water come up on our land like that," he said.

While the inside of his house stayed dry, the Comite's current did a number to his house.

"You could feel the house shaking," he said.

The water damaged the flooring and saturated the insulation underneath. Almost five months later, Burnette can squeeze water from it.

Wright Flood awarded Burnette $38,000 to replace the floor and the insulation, but the water current also moved his house off its piers by about an inch and a half. There's no money available for that and he's waiting on an estimate to see how much it will cost.

Burnette fears with one good push, the house could fall.

"He told me, 'The storm didn't cause it, the flood didn't cause it,'" he said.

Wright Flood declined an interview with 2 On Your Side Monday, saying it's unable to respond on individual claims due to its policyholder privacy policy, but the company has been in touch with Burnette to offer assistance to resolve his concerns.

Burnette tells WBRZ he plans to file an appeal.


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