WEST SENECA, NY - For Thomas Marinaro and some other residents of the flood-ravaged Lexington Green subdivision, exhaustion has turned to frustration three days after rising water and ice from Buffalo Creek heavily damaged their homes.
Especially in dealing with his insurance company, to which he's placed at least a dozen calls.
"I called them again this morning and they said they haven't even assigned an agent to our claim yet," Marinaro told WGRZ outside his home on Gregory Street.
Marinaro has flood insurance, but is discovering it won't help much to replace the mountain of belongings he and his wife lost in the flood.
"The deductible is $5,000 even though they take $75 from us every month."
Marinaro is going against the advice given to him by his insurance company, in order to save his home from further damage.
"They told us not to remove anything until they have an insurance agent come, but then told us in the next breath that nothing will be covered if you have any mold , so we just went ahead and gutted our basement because we have no choice any way."
In his basement, where a plastic bottle still rests in the rafters , placed there by waters which reached the ceiling, he's gone ahead and taken out the wood paneling and floor tiles, in an effort to keep the mold at bay.
"I hope that it's declared a natural disaster area so that something else is covered," Marinaro said.
"We have reached out to the Governor's office and we have had a response that they are reaching out with their colleagues to see where they can be helpful ," said West Seneca town Supervisor Sheila Meegan.
She hopes the state might be able to help here in same fashion it did in Lockport last summer with a specially created flood relief fund, although our calls to the Governor's office to see if that's possible have yet to be returned.
She's already been told there will be no help from FEMA
"In order for FEMA to come in, to make this a state of emergency, 100 homes have to be declared a disaster, and we didn't meet that threshold with this emergency, we have 70 homes," Meegan said.
Inspections of those homes for possible structural damage, may begin Thursday,….and for that, help is on the way.
As seventy home inspections would be tall order for West Seneca's three building inspectors, during a luncheon of town supervisors on Tuesday, Meegan asked for, and received commitments from several other towns , to loan West Seneca their building inspectors to help out with that work.
"It's an awful situation but to have people as a team to come in and help us, there's a lot to be said about living in Erie County ," she said.
Follow Dave McKinley on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2