Residents at risk for mudslides have trouble getting insurance

LA CRESCENTA — The burned hillsides of Deukmejian Wilderness Park had raised so much concern about rain runoff and mudslides that Renee McFadden bought flood insurance, but it could end up being all for nothing.

Her home sits at the corner of Markridge Road and Dunsmore Avenue, across from the mouth of a park drainage channel.

Crews recently placed six concrete barriers, known as K-rails, on her front lawn to guard against possible debris flows.

But in the event that her home is hit with water, mud or rocks, the insurance should help — that is, if it actually kicks in. As of Tuesday, she still wasn’t clear whether her insurance would cover mudslides, she said, echoing the concerns of confused neighbors.

Markridge Road resident Nannie Collins said she got this explanation from her insurer: “If you can sip the mud threw a straw, you can be covered by flood insurance, but if it’s more than that, you’d have to have catastrophic.”

Adding to insurance concerns is the timing of the rain storm that started Tuesday. Most residents in the neighborhood who bought flood insurance did so two weeks ago.

“There’s a 30-day waiting period,” McFadden said, nervously clenching her teeth.

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