Three years almost to the day that Katrina hit New Orleans, the remnants of Hurricane Fay pounced Mecklenburg County with rain. Northern Meck was hit hard, so were the Cavalier Apartments on Monroe Road. Residents were evacuated the morning of August 27 to the East Meck High School gym. The county handled the situation with efficiency and professionalism. It was afterward, when some residents were told their county-bought flood insurance did not get processed in time, that trouble began.
Chris Jeannot, an English instructor at UNC-Charlotte signed and turned in his insurance papers in mid-July, plenty of time for an insurance company to process. The Cavalier Apartments were bought by Mecklenburg County earlier this year so they could be torn down and green space could be created in the high flood threat zone. Mecklenburg hired THC of Georgia to manage until all the residents were relocated. THC hired the local Brown and Glen. Insurance went through DH Smith and Hartford and somewhere along the line as many as 20 residents didn’t get their flood insurance processed in time.
Everyone who lived on the bottom level of the building lost virtually everything. The waters rose in some places six feet. Yet, because of bungling of one of the five parties involved, some residents will not be paid for their losses. The county has talked about low-interest loans and grants to those residents whose insurance papers were not filed in time to collect. Residents should not settle for anything less than what the insurance promised. Anything less will certainly created a local media firestorm.