(Inquirer photo by Elizabeth V. Robertson/staff photographer)
So the moral of the story is, the squeaky flooded out wheel gets the endlessly-stalled insurance settlement money. In the case of Maurice Corkery, above, in his gutted little slice of paradise in Ocean City, N.J., his frustrations really touched a nerve with the many people whose insurance claims - despite FEMA reassurances - remain up in the air, stalled, or in need of appeals and supplement. But about a week after Corkery went passionately and eloquently public about his endless bureacratic frustrations with FEMA Flood Insurance - have your engineer talk to my engineer about sums it up - the Hartford Insurance Company told him they were cutting him the $79,300 check he had sought in order to tear down the ruined little rancher and put up an elevated modular home that meets all FEMA requirements. (The settlement was $88,000, minus depreciation and deductible). Corkery, who spoke with the passion of a WIP caller complaining about former Eagles coach Andy Reid, told his tale in the Inquirer, and then leveraged that into an appearance on Fox Business Network and an outraged on his behalf Gerri Willis. It touched a nerve, judging from the response, among people like Corkery who paid their insurance premiums, spent their savings on modest beach homes and hoped to secure a little bit of Jersey Shore goodness for their families (in Corkery's case, a new grandson). "I will be installing pilings to 13 feet," Corkery reports, "and putting a new home on them." Corkery at first thought the check would mean the home would be ready by June, just in time for beach tags. Now, he's thinking mid-July is more realistic. "I have applied for demo permits," he wrote in an e-mail Monday morning. "The modular house has been ordered. My builder told me O.C. still has only one guy who approves the permits. I hope it moves fast." One thing is certain: the new house will be the same yellow as the old one. "My wife thinks it is a shore color," he said. Agreed. Stay tuned sports fans.