WELD COUNTY - For homeowner's affected by September's floods, the past few months have been anything but easy. Heather owns a home in Weld County; she asked that we not use her last name.
"It has been a nightmare," she said.
Her house sits on a property that had a low to moderate risk of flooding-- a risk that turned into a certainty six months ago.
"The water ran through for 10 days straight, two to three feet in the house," she said.
Heather used to have flood insurance, but she said that in 2006, her mortgage company decided it was no longer needed. Now, she is left with a home she can no longer live in and can't afford to repair, along with a monthly mortgage she still has to pay.
"You're so consumed by the whole process," she said. "It really does consume a person."
Her mortgage company, PNC, tells 9News that they offer forbearances to mortgage holders in circumstances like these, but only for limited amount of time. For Heather, it was three months and then the mortgage payments were due. She has been living in a FEMA mobile home-- one of 43 families in Colorado that are doing so and that the agency says were deeply affected by the flood.
"Some families are especially hard hit, so FEMA's providing temporary manufactured housing units," said John Mills of FEMA. "They can live there for free, rent-free, utilities-free, so if they do have a mortgage that they are paying, this at least lessens that burden and they have some place to live that they don't have to pay for, even if they are paying for some other place to live."
Those in the insurance industry say cases like Heather's are why they recommend every home have flood insurance-- whether it's required or not, and no matter the level of risk.
"At this point, it's really a big wakeup call for all of us," said Carole Walker, with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. "You need to be able to understand that you're going to have to pay out of pocket to replace all your stuff, rebuild your home, if you don't have flood insurance."
It is a tough situation for Heather, who has received housing assistance and money from FEMA, about $25,000. The estimated cost to repair her home is $166,000.
Insurers say that flooding is the most common natural disaster in Colorado. When the floods hit last year, though, there were only about 22,000 flood insurance policies in place in the whole state.