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Insurance Woes Delay Rebuilding

GLADE SPRING, Va. - So many homes were destroyed during the April 2011 tornadoes and many of the homeowners had to deal with challenging insurance issues. A year later, some are still waiting to rebuild.

?We had lots of problems. I think everybody had trouble with insurance,? said James Sadler, a Glade Spring tornado victim. ?That held us up for months.?

Sadler said life has been challenging for those living on Stagecoach Road. "The next morning we came out, we just looked down the street and there wasn't a house standing. They were blown away."

He didn?t retire until he was 77 years old and his retirement plan didn?t include experiencing a storm like the one in Glade Spring. "We could feel the house lifting and we just hoped it would hold together." Despite that, the insurance company said the house was structurally safe.

So Sadler had an independent engineer to check it out. He said it the house had broken studs and was not safe. Sadler said when the house was torn down; it showed the engineer was right. ?The gentleman that was taking the house down got the front wall down and could see all the studs on the top row were broken."

For eight to nine months following the storm, the Sadlers argued with the insurance company while living in a small RV camper, which wasn?t very comfortable. "It is extremely small. It's good for a camping trip to take to the beach or something like that, but not to live in," he said.

The Sadlers built an apartment in an unattached garage for their temporary home while looking forward to a new house, complete with a basement and built-in storm shelter. After nearly a year of waiting, just to start construction, Sadler said he?s looking forward to the first night in the new house.?With a big glass of champagne,? he laughed. ?We will be glad to get rid of our RV.?

Construction is scheduled to start soon and their new home should be finished by mid-summer.

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