Boulder damage condemns Warren home

By Paula Tutman, Local 4 Reporter, @PaulaTutman
Megan Siwa, Click On Detroit intern
Published On: Aug 14 2014 06:34:04 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 14 2014 06:37:38 PM EDT

Boulders crashed through the basement of a Warren woman's home, making the building structurally unstable.

WARREN, Mich. -

While many are still dealing with flooded basements and leaking roofs from Monday’s storm, others are facing much worse.

Of all the disasters in Warren, one home has suffered the most.  A boulder and tree smashed into a house at the corner of Stevens and Eureka Roads and forced the resident out due to structural safety issues.

The homeowner, Highland Park Police Officer, Gretchen Domino, is a part-time musician with a recording studio and game room in her basement, which has now turned into nothing more than pure devastation.

“Everything, electronics, everything is under mud and water,” said Domino.

Making it a bigger problem, Domino tried to buy flood insurance when she bought her home in 2011 but was told it was not needed because it was a no flood zone.

Now there’s a crack from the basement wall to the roof- only one of the many problems she said she will need to fight her insurance company for help with.

“I don’t know why I have insurance,” Domino said. “’You’re in good hands with Allstate.’ I thought that was the motto, so what happened?”

The city insurance risk manager said that her damage specifically was not caused by water; it was pressure damage that caused the ground to collapse, then loosen the decorative boulders that broke her basement wall and ultimately destroyed the entire foundation of the house.

“This is ridiculous,” she said. “No one has any answers for me.”

Due to Domino receiving no help from her insurance company, the Red Cross is lending a hand and even the mayor of Warren is taking time to step in. Everyone is trying to help, including county executive Mark Hackel.

“This was, without question, a horrific incident caused by nature, and now the question is if there is enough money available at the federal or state level,” said Hackel. “We need to get a true assessment throughout the entire region. People have to report their claim, no matter how small it is, and make sure they do it either locally or at the county level so we can make a great case at the state level and the federal level for reimbursement from one or the other.”

If your home has experienced this kind of storm damage, city officials are asking residents to report it to their municipality so they can collect the data necessary to make it a federal case and give homeowners the potential to receive reimbursements toward the damage their insurance companies doesn't cover. 

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