Crutcho School District Cleans Up School With No Flood Insurance
CRUTCHO, Oklahoma - Weeks after that record-breaking May 31 storm, the small Crutcho School District is still cleaning up. Several classrooms were covered with water, and just days later, they found out, they had no flood insurance.
"If you are zoned a certain way, then you do not have coverage in the event of a flood without a specialized policy," said Crutcho School superintendent Teresa McAfee.
Heavy rain from the storm flooded the school's basement. Rooms with brand new tile were covered in 11 inches of water. McAfee's husband and a maintenance worker pumped out nearly 25,000 gallons.
"One of the scariest parts was we have two computer labs destroyed along with our room that was just full of records from years and years," she said.
McAfee says the school has a $50,000 deductible and were told they were covered at first.
"Then our insurance company came back and said, oh by the way, you're in a flood way," she said. "You don't really have flood insurance, you're excluded."
McAfee learned the school never had a flood insurance policy and requires a much pricier specialized plan in order for it to be covered.
The school has dealt with a number of floods in its more than 100 year history, but nothing like this.
"It was unbelievable, all you have to do is look at the sinkhole which was about 20 feet from our playground," said Crutcho School principal Robert Killian.
"The problem this time was that there was so much water, that it managed to come up over a small wall that we have and fill the emergency exit in the basement and blowout the windows."
Crutcho staff is cleaning around the clock on their summer break. They're waiting for the floors to dry and still need a lot of help to pay for paint and supplies.
"It's a pretty sizeable expense for a district as small as we are and dealing with a budget as tight as we're dealing with," Killian said.
And because the type of insurance the school needs is so costly, the school isn't sure if they'll ever get flood insurance.
The school expects the basement and rooms to be repaired in time for school starting August 20.
But Killian says the worst part is about 20 percent of their students and their families were displaced in the flooding. The school, which has grades K-8, only has 350 students.