Officials warn of flood-related scams

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Cleanup work is in full force across many counties in the Cumberland Valley after last week's devastating flash floods.

But now officials are warning those affected to watch out for con-artists looking to pray on their misfortune!

The fans are for drying.

"The humidity as it is, the temperatures as they are, it will start molding almost immediately," said John Coatney.

Coatney has been busy.

"I got three houses here together," said Coatney.

All three houses on 15th Street in Middlesboro took on feet of water.

"This water is completely different. It's a lot more mud to it," said Coatney.

He's been a contractor for years. But even that did not keep him from the sights of those looking to make a quick buck.

"Some of them are legit, and some of them are not. You can talk to them and tell whether they know what they're doing or not," said Coatney.

"Using local people, not paying anybody before the job is done, is a big thing because people will get you to make a down payment. And then you won't see them again," said University of Kentucky Extension Agent Wayne Kirby.

Kirby said if it seems too good to be true then it is.

"We're encouraging people to make sure they use credible people as far as doing repair and home repair," said Kirby.

As for John Coatney, he will be doing a lot of the work himself - but not alone.

"There's a lot of help from neighbors in this town. People help each other," said Coatney.

You can double check companies with the Better Business Bureau in Central and Eastern Kentucky. That number is 1-800-866-6668.

Tips from UK Agriculture Extension office include the following:
- Find out if contractors are licensed by the state.
- Have a written and signed contract before any work begins.
- Never pay for work until it is completed.
- Have the name and address of the contractor.
- Check companies with the Better Business Bureau.

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