A California couple nearly lost their lives when their Toyota Sienna minivan was swept away by a flash flood in Nevada. The flash flood carried Loren and Margie Miller’s minivan away from an off-ramp in Moapa Valley and sent it downstream. Margie opened her passenger door and was caught in the current, which pulled her out of the minivan. She was rushed downstream almost 200 yards before she was saved by a Las Vegas police officer that spotted her and was able to pull her to safety. The minivan filled with water quickly, which forced Loren to move to the top of it as it surged downstream. “It was really, really scary and almost surreal,” Loren said of the flash flood. “We were just spinning around.” Loren was eventually rescued by construction workers who saw him and threw him a rope, which he tied to his wrists so that they could pull him to safety. The couple was able to reunite with only scrapes and bruises, but their minivan was totaled beyond repair.
FLASH FLOOD RISKS
Flash floods are known as one of the biggest weather related threats to life in the United States, with most deaths occurring in vehicles. According to the National Weather Service, the US averages about 89 flood-related deaths per year, more than lightning or tornado related deaths. From the years 2003 to 2012, flood insurance claims have averaged almost $4 billion per year. This sounds more realistic when you note that the FEMA says everyone lives in a flood zone. Just as the Millers found when they were trapped in their vehicle by flood waters, flash floods can pick up speed quickly, carrying a vehicle away in as little as 2 feet of water. To add to the danger, floods are able to bring waves of water that can reach 20 feet high.
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WHAT IF MY INSURANCE WILL NOT COVER MY FLASH FLOOD CLAIM?
Because flash floods can bring unexpected damage to your home and vehicle, it is important to have insurance. However, insurance companies will sometimes refuse to pay a claim. When this happens you need the help of a professional and experienced lawyer. The lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas have extensive experience aiding those fighting insurance claims, including claims from flash floods. At Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas, we will work hard to fight for you and your rights. Your first consultation is free, so give us a call today.