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Dunwoody residents seek relief for flooding at Wyntercreek home

City says its insurer won’t cover damage

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DUNWOODY, Ga. — A Dunwoody homeowner whose basement has flooded three times in the past 15 months says he is frustrated by the lack of action by the city to remediate an “inadequate” canal behind his house.

City officials, however, say they aren’t responsible for the damages associated with the flooding.

Ly and Mark Douglass moved to a home on Meadowcreek Drive in the Wyntercreek subdivision in late 2020 after doing extensive renovations to the home, but even before they completed the overhaul, problems began.

“In September of 2020, as we were finishing the work, there were some torrential rains, and we were flooded twice in a short period of time,” Mark Douglass said. “It happened again about a month ago. Both times we had to replace the flooring at a cost of $3,000 to $4,000 each time.”

Wyntercreek flooding

Photos taken by the homeowners show the extent of the flooding to their basement after heavy storms rolled through the city.

The couple doesn’t have flood insurance, and traditional homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover the costs associated with the damage, Douglass said. So, they turned to the city for assistance, thinking that the deficiencies in the stream’s drainage capacity would pay for the damage.

However, all the claims were denied by Dunwoody’s insurance carrier, Gallagher Bassett.

A statement by the City of Dunwoody said the flooding was investigated and the claim was found to be without merit.

“The insurance carrier examined the claim and determined that the city was not responsible for the flooding,” the statement said. “The finding was based on the information provided by the claimant, a review of that area’s historical stormwater records, and an onsite inspection of the stormwater system by city staff.”

The Douglass family said although city officials have been out to inspect the property after the flooding incidents, nobody from Gallagher Bassett visited their home as part of its investigation.

“They basically took the city’s word for it, and there was no independent review,” Ly Douglass said. “Their attitude was very cavalier about the whole matter. And the only thing they had to say is, ‘There’s really no next step, unless you want to sue us.’”

An email from Cedric McCartherens, senior resolution manager for Gallagher Bassett to the Douglass family dated Nov. 2, said, “If you and Mr. Douglass disagree with our decision on this matter, your next option may be to retain legal counsel. We have investigated this matter thoroughly and regret that coverage cannot be extended to you for your damages,” the email stated.

Mark Douglass said he is frustrated with the city and its insurer, and he fears the problem will rear its head again with the next big rainfall.

“And we don’t believe we are the only ones that this is happening to,” Mark said. “The city workers who came out to inspect the property said they are seeing it all over Dunwoody.”

Cathy covers local government and community news for the Dunwoody area.

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