The Latest Ice Storm Information, Tidbits, and Such

Ice Storm Information

This article was compiled for the purpose of informing area residents of the current situation of the April 10-11 winter ice and snow storm that devastated rural Midwest towns. Please note that due to inclement weather and tree damage, the Worthington City-Wide Track Pick-Up that was scheduled to begin Monday, April 22nd has been rescheduled for a later date with dates announced at a later time. Please do NOT put anything at the curb at this time. In addition, there are currently four crews working on tree removal. If you see them in the road ahead of you, take a detour and DO NOT drive through the area where the crews are working. This is for safety's sake, and also for time management. Complying with this will allow crews to do their work without interruption and will prevent waiting time for drivers.

In addition, First State Bank Southwest will host a Replant a Tree Community Program on Friday, during which more than 1,000 trees will be given away on a first come-first served basis. First State Bank Southwest worked with the Nobles County Soil and Water Conservation District and city forester Scott Rosenberg to find the right types of trees for this area. Bank president Greg Raymo said they will be giving out Rubrum maple, white oak and Black Hills spruce trees. Each family can get up to five trees. The tree giveaway begins at 11 a.m. in front of First State Bank Southwest, 1433 Oxford St., Worthington, and will continue until 5:30 p.m., or until all of the trees have been given away.

Topics:

|Cleanup/Power Outage UpdatesInsurance Questions State Officials Storm Documentation |


Clean-Up Updates/Volunteer Opportunities

Are you struggling to clean up from the storm? Global Compassion Network, in conjunction with local Worthington churches and Love In the Name of Christ, are offering assistance with tree and debris removal for anyone in need. Priority will be given to those who are not physically able or who cannot financially afford other services. If you are in need of this help please call the Love INC Helpline at 727-7291 and leave a voice mail with your name, phone #, and brief description of need. Local volunteers are also encouraged to help and can contact the same number to find out how.

Groups or individuals in the community who are interested in volunteering to help with the clean-up effort are asked to contact the Nobles County Emergency Operation Center at 507-295-5359. Joann Bartosh with Nobles County R.S.V.P. will be coordinating volunteers for the relief effort. We are asking all groups and individuals to register through the EOC in order to track volunteer hours. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes, bring your own gloves if possible, and dress appropriately for the weather.

Due to Thursday's weather, the originally scheduled Sibley/Ocheyedan clean-up day is cancelled until further notice


Insurance-Related FAQS

As clean-up begins, questions are coming up surrounding insurance claims. Radio Works caught up with State Farm Insurance Jason Vote to cover some of the frequently asked questions. With a lot of the crisis slowly passing and electricity outages are being resolved, it's important to know how to go about filing a claim, when to file a claim and so forth.

When documenting incidences, do you need to take a photo of the damage prior to moving it or wait until an insurance agent comes to see the damage in person? 

  • We received over a foot of snow and the dame is tough to see, so do not put yourself in any dangerous situation first of all. Secondly, if you do go into the elements, you are not required to take a photo but because the damage of the structure will be visible after the snow melts. there's no requirement to take a photo prior. Again when the snow melts or it gets visible we will be able to see the damage more clearly.

What about a tree fell on your house? Do I need to wait until an agent sees that or can I go ahead and start moving the limbs and cover it so it's not causing damage internally?

  • Again if your safety is not an issue what you'll want to do is get the tree off the structure and minimize any additional loss, such as take precautions to avoid getting more water into the house, etc. I recommend minimizing water damage internally.

What if you're elderly or incapable of moving tree branches? Should they hire someone and document what they're doing for a possible future claim?

  • Number one item is to call your agent and let them know the situation occurred. In most cases, there will be coverage because the structure has been damaged. Then call a professional to remove these trees; they know how to do it without causing additional damage. We've compiled some names of folks who are willing to help, the main thing I would tell you is ask the right questions about cost, get an estimate so you understand the magnitude of the cost for tree removal. We'll see an influx of out of town tree removers but just make sure you understand expectations across the board. I would always recommend they have a way to show they have insurance because if they have additional damage happen, it's very important they're covered as well.

What about if a tree fell on a car AND home?

  • Generally if a car is damaged because of a tree it is comprehensive claim and the car insurance will take care of it. If it hits the home, there is specific home insurance. Two different situations in most insurance companies.

What if a limb from a tree in a yard lands on the neighbor's car or house?

  • In most companies' vision the party that has the damage, regardless of who has it, the structure that gets damaged is the responsibility of whoever gets it insured. SO if my tree falls on your home, your home is responsible for the coverage. This is a great opportunity to bond as neighbors to clean up their yards and appearances. Being a good neighbor goes a long ways in reconciling through these, understand your neighbor didn't want their stuff to land on yours and be patient work through it.

There's a number of outlying communities that have been without power for quite a while and they're wondering about freezers and thawing food

  • This is covered on most homeowners' policies. Talk to your agent about what specific coverage you have. Every company has different levels and every policy is different as well as a homeowner. Call your agent and call about the specifics in your situation and they'll tell you.

Anything else customers should know?

  • With the snow it's added a real inconvenience from the standpoint of being able to see, so patience is going to be of a virtue and once the snow melts, a number of adjusters and crews will be looking at your specific damage that is currently covered up by the snow. Another thing is that as we start cleaning these, document your HOURS, how long it took to get these items off your covered property, that'll pay dividends as we start to go through the claims process to understand the magnitude of the cost.

What about injuries when you're moving trees - anything that is covered so that if someone is on your property, helping you move things, etc., - what is the coverage case? 

  • This is very difficult to answer because every situation is different. Most homeowners have coverage - medical payments - designed to protect other folks on your property. You already mentioned the fact that we have a number of contractors/tree experts in the area, be sure to get a certificate or proof of insurance from the tree guys. Health insurance is going to be your primary coverage, if you hit your back or something, normally not much from a medical coverage standpoint.

Any last messages to pass along?

  • Patience is important.Take your time in cleaning the debris and mess because it'll still be there, the snow has posed a real dangerous situation out there so be patience, last thing we need is getting people injured. Most companies have a significant time frame to allow to fix damage. There's not usually a tight window, - usually like a year. Patience is very important and please note that you can always add onto a claim. Best situation is if you're not in harm or danger, let the snow melt and then they'll get a team of adjusters able to come out and look at the whole situation and give you a settlement most frankly, on the spot. The whole situation is better as opposed to trying to speculate. Contact your agent, let them know if there's real or potential damage and they'll go from there.

State Officials

After speaking with officials in Nobles County and the city of Worthington, Governor Mark Dayton toured areas in Rock County, along with U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Tim Walz. Dayton visited with officials is Hills, assuring them the state would help financially with the massive clean-up efforts. Dayton said he was sorry to be there under these circumstances, but would be of whatever assistance he could. Minnesotans responding to a crisis brings out the best in our people, he said, and between the federal and state government, they would be there to make the area as whole as possible. During a disaster, there is no republicans or democrats, just a great bipartisan effort to see this through.


Storm Documentation

Residents are wondering if they have ever seen a storm with such a large damage magnitude. Consequently, Radio Works pieced together a compilation of photos and videos to show those who are isolated what the outside world looks like, and vice versa.

Curious how the Worthington Country Club fared? View it here. You can also view a video capturing a glimpse into the town situation in Worthington here. A compilation of photos collected from listeners and Radio Works staff can be viewed here as well. Feel free to continue to submit your storm photos to Radio Works Director of Integrated Media Sonja Langseth.

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