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Business owner needs help after homeless is flooded out of hotel homes after weekend's storms

Rodeway Inn.jpg
Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 10:16:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Last weekend's floods are forcing many people to rebuild and the owner of Rodeway Inn is asking for help.

The hotel is home to 100 people in Metro Nashville who were at one point experiencing homelessness.

The Shabana Ali partner with the city and The Salvation Army for Metro's Rapid Rehousing Initiative -- made possible by CARES Act Funding.

The initiative ensures people like Cynthia Pritchard have a stable place to stay. Now with the flood damage, residents are left wondering what's next.

"Gotta move again," said Pritchard. She with her dog Sassy has find themselves oftentimes sleeping in tents. She says it was a few months ago when she got a free place at the Rodeway Inn.

Now Pritchard says she doesn't know what's next.

"Just a few minutes ago got told pack up your stuff so we don’t know where we’re going but we’re going."

The floods left many homes, businesses and lives torn to pieces. Ali says her business was spared in the 2010 flood.

But this year, she wasn't as lucky.

"We tried to save as much as we can, try to clean up the water so it does not go into the room, but we could not so all of my bottom floors about 50 rooms got damaged," said Ali.

Ali doesn't have flood insurance so she's hoping a GoFundMe account will help cover the cost.

"That was my first step today, but it’s still not enough we’re talking about hundreds and thousands of dollars; just a parking lot in rooms itself at least a half $1 million more plus," she said.

FEMA says just 1.14% of Tennessee residents have an active flood insurance policy. And most home or property insurance plans won't cover flood damage.

Ali says she will be signing up for a plan to cover her business for the future

"Definitely, even if the city says this is not a non-flood zone I'm still gonna buy flood insurance with my property insurance," Ali said.

Like most, she may have to rely on federal help. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance says even if a federal Disaster Declaration is made, post-disaster FEMA grants average less than $8,000.

She just wants things fixed so she can continue to offer the less fortunate a place of their own.

The residents who were staying at the Rodeway Inn as part of Metro's Rapid Rehousing Program have been moved into temporary housing with help from The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross. The city through the Metro Homeless Impact Division is helping coordinate efforts to ensure those affected by the flood will not lose stable housing.

Before deciding on what type of Flood coverage to buy, it’s important to know your risk. The FEMA flood map service allows consumers to determine their home’s flood risk. Risk levels are divided into three categories:

KNOW THE FACTS from the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

MYTH: “Homeowners or renters insurance will cover my home and belongings if they are damaged by floodwaters.”

FACT: Most homeowner's and renter's insurance policies do not cover damages to a structure or contents in the event of a flood. Only a flood insurance policy will cover flood damage.

MYTH: “I don’t need flood insurance because FEMA assistance will cover my damages.”

FACT: Not everyone will qualify for FEMA assistance after a disaster. Even if a federal Disaster Declaration is made, post-disaster FEMA grants average less than $8,000. Remember: Just 1 inch of water in a home can cause $25,000 of damage.

MYTH: “I can’t buy flood insurance because my property flooded before.”

FACT: If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to buy flood insurance, regardless of flood history. There are a few areas in Tennessee that do not participate in the NFIP. If your community does not participate, FEMA assistance is not available. If flood insurance through the NFIP is not available in your area, contact your licensed insurance agent to ask about private flood insurance. If you choose a private flood insurance policy, be sure to shop around to compare premiums and coverage.