As damage assessments continue across the state, many homeowners are finding they're on their own when it comes to the repair bill. Turns out, most New Mexicans do not have flood insurance mainly because flooding like this is so rare.
Nearly a week after flood waters brought a mudslide into Charlie Trujillo's Taylor Ranch home, he's salvaging what he can.
"We have a storage bin here. We're having to empty out the entire first floor," said Trujillo.
He's one of many New Mexicans who don't have flood insurance. It's a growing statewide problem after unprecedented flood waters ravaged through the state, destroying roads and homes.
News 13 got an inside look at a home in Bernardo, where 2-and-a-half feet of water made its way in. The homeowner in that case also doesn't have flood insurance.
"These situations, nobody anticipates them," said Matt Kunkle, State Farm Insurance Agent. "The exclusion is floods, so water at the ground level entering your house through the outside ... that's what most people do not have coverage for."
Kunkle's Albuquerque State Farm Insurance agency has been busy this week with claims. But unless FEMA designated a residence in a flood zone, and callers' mortgage company requires it, Kunkle says chances are, they don't have flood insurance.
"First of all, you hate it for the people. Hopefully they do have the insurance in place that can help cover that," said Kunkle. "If they don't, it's a sad, sad thing because the damage can be extensive."
Trujillo said, "It's one of these tough calls. If we would have paid $800 a year for 20 something years, we're talking probably $16,000 to $20,000 on flood insurance. So, it's like, you know, can you better use that $16,000 to $20,000 on something else? Of course, but you never know when something like this is going to happen."
On Thursday, workers continued to move the massive mound of mud from Trujillo's backyard. He'll have to replace part of his walls, furniture, carpet and re-landscape the backyard. Although there's been progress, there's still a lot of cleanup ahead.
FEMA officials said they encourage everyone to know their own risks, and get flood insurance. Depending on where residents live, coverage can cost between a couple hundred dollars a year to thousands a year. FEMA recommends residents contact their local floodplain administrator for information.
Gov. Susana Martinez sent out a letter to President Obama on Thursday asking that state flooding be declared a national disaster. If the President agrees, federal funding will be used to clean up public sectors.
Anyone with flood insurance questions can call 1-800-427-4661, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.