Posted: Feb 18, 2013 6:02 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2013 7:03 PM
McALLEN - At least 50 homeowners have not been able to repair their homes nearly a year after a hail storm damaged the properties.
Julie Henkel and her husband, Andrew Henkel, said they have waited a year for payment from their insurance company.
"There was water to our knees," Julie Henkel said of the March 29, 2012, storm. "It was like a swamp."
Their home on Whitewing Street is not livable, Andrew Henkel said.
The couple was forced to move into a mobile home they paid for out of their pocket.
"Very humiliating ... extremely humiliating," Julie Henkel said of having to live in a trailer on their property.
"Actually, when I see my neighbors I try to run as fast as I can to get back in the house because I'm embarrassed ... I'm ashamed," she said.
Four different insurance adjusters visited their home, but the amount offered was not enough to cover all the damages. The couple tried to reach an agreement with the company.
"It's a waiting game. And we're willing to wait," Andrew Henkel said.
"We're finding there are clients over in the Mission area, over in the Pharr, Hidalgo, Alton area. And they're all being treated ... basically, if you don't take the first offer you're going to have to file a lawsuit," Attorney Michael Moore said. He represents the Henkels.
"The reality is the regular, common person is having to fight this battle between David and Goliath," Moore said.
The couple said they were homeless for a month.
"It was pretty chaotic. I had just about everything that I owned in the front yard. And, I had to spend several nights out here guarding my stuff," Andrew Henkel said.
"I did it several nights ... probably spent about 72 hours not sleeping," he said.
Their possessions now are in a storage room.
"We've gotten somewhat used to it, but it's still not the same as living in your home," Andrew Henkel said.