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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tough Times For Cranston Family

A few hours after The Providence Journal took the photo of Tom Straus as he glumly surveyed several feet of water flooding his Cranston basement, the water rose much higher.

Groundwater poured in through gaps in the stone foundation. Then, record-high floodwaters from the nearby Pawtuxet River overwhelmed the first floor and carried away the above-ground pool out back where his granddaughter loved to swim. Whitecaps topped waves racing over the driveway.

Straus and his wife and son and two cats had to evacuate by boat.

Their house was condemned. They lost everything inside. They have been hounded for mortgage payments on a structure that is unlivable. And even though he is certain they were required to buy flood insurance to get their mortgage, the mortgage company says it has no record of the policy. Straus has no records of anything. And he says he can’t afford a lawyer.

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