Windsor Recovery Moving Along For Some, Slow For Others

Many Blame Insurance Companies For Dragging Their Feet

In the six weeks since a deadly EF-3 tornado tore through the town of Windsor, the rebuilding process for some has been remarkably fast. But for others, delays and insurance fights, have slowed the rebuilding to a remarkable crawl.

There are many contrasting stories in Windsor. While some are already back in their homes, others haven't even started rebuilding. And many of those in the latter group blame their insurance companies.

"Well, it's just terrible," said Terry Suppes as he tried to hold back tears. "It eats you up. This is the first time in 20 years I'm not cutting wheat. It just eats you up." Suppes has three Case International combines. He custom harvests wheat, corn and pinto beans from Oklahoma to Colorado.

His three combines were destroyed by the tornado, and Case, who Suppes is financed with, along with his insurance company - keep bickering about who needs to pick up the tab.

"(Case) says you gotta talk to Fireman's Fund. And then Fireman's Fund said, well Case made a clerical error. So, Case New Holland is blaming Fireman's Fund, and Fireman's Fund is blaming Case New Holland," said Suppes.

Suppes has already had to cancel this years wheat harvest. Now he's just hoping he's back up and running this fall for corn and bean harvest. He stands to lose more than $120,000 if he can't participate in this year's harvest.

In town, Jim Barnhill can't praise his insurance company enough. "We pushed the outer limit of our policy," said Barnhill of USAA Insurance. "They've been awesome."

Barnhill's home was almost a complete loss. He's already well on his way to rebuilding, and he's even adding on. He hopes to be back in his home for Thanksgiving dinner.

Leaders from the town of Windsor, Weld County, the state and the nation are now in the process of trying to get help to those most in need. They held a town hall meeting Wednesday night to discuss outstanding issues like insurance concerns.

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