Manzanita rebuilding after tornado

Manzanita rebuilds after tornado

MANZANITA, Ore. -- Manzanita homeowners are beginning to rebuild after the  Oct. 14 tornado that slammed through town.

128 homes and a few businesses were damaged by the high winds.

But tarps on the roof of Kathy Kanas' home speak to a problem: There's no work being done to fix the house because the insurance money is frozen.

Kathy and her boyfriend, Tom McCallum, are frustrated with Wells Fargo Mortgage, which has not yet signed off on that insurance check.

“The adjuster came out and she worked off our contractor's bid and just approved everything and they sent us a check -- that was three weeks ago and we still haven’t gotten anything done,” McCallum said.

The check is for $142,000, according to McCallum.


Since there's a mortgage on the property, the check is made out to Kathy and Wells Fargo Mortgage. A spokesman for State Farm said that is a standard practice with insurance claims.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo said insurance checks under $20,000 are quickly processed.

But bigger checks like Kathy’s need more documentation. The bank is waiting for the appropriate documentation from her and then will gladly process the check, according to the spokesman.

With so many insurance claims in Manzanita, there are bound to be questions and challenges. The state on Tuesday sent in a team to help homeowners understand their insurance policies.

“This is a major event and typically the insurance companies but we’re doing our due diligence as regulators consumer protection is a big concern of ours. We want to make sure everyone’s doing okay,” said Kevin Jeffries, a consumer advocate and part of the group helping in Manzanita.

And for those who need a bit of help, a nonprofit called Fulcrum Community Resources has raised nearly $20,000 it's ready to loan or give homeowners.

“The problem we're experiencing right now is that very few people are asking for the money,” said Tom Campbell, a Fulcrum supporter.

He hopes that problem goes away soon.

In the meantime, you can see work underway in Manzanita.

Contractors like Tyler Weston are putting the town back together.

“And so that’s good to see that they’re able to get their places back together and not leave it exposed to this winter weather,” he said.

KGW


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