Property owners who intend to seek compensation from a state agency for loss suffered during floods in 2007 have a limited amount of time to properly announce their intentions.

Larry Bork, a Kansas attorney who successfully argued a class-action lawsuit against the Grand River Dam Authority, said last week that victims who suffered damages in the May 8, 2007, flood have until May 7 to provide proper notice to state offices.

Deadlines for June and July 2007 flood events are also quickly approaching as a statute of limitations will void the claim if it is filed more than a year from the occurrence.

Locally, some residents are growing frustrated as they try to recover from the short series of floods in 2007 that pushed hundreds from their homes and left many structures uninhabitable.

One local homeowner, Ed Mrkonich, voiced his concerns recently to the Ottawa County Commissioners. He said he has lost nearly $200,000 due to flooding and is now seeking a way to recoup his loss.

Mrkonich blames GRDA. He is among many who are considering taking their fight into a courtroom.

GRDA is a governmental entity created by Oklahoma statutes, Bork said. As such, prior to any civil litigation filed in state court, there must be the filing of a tort claims notice.

Filing a tort claim is the first step in a process that Bork said will likely lead to a denial of the claim by the agency. However, the filing also opens a 180-day window to file a civil suit against the state agency, Bork said.

There may still be other remedies against GRDA, however, there is no reason to give up tort claims if there is any way to avoid it, Bork said.

Tips for filing a tort claim

Submit a notice of claim for property damage due to flooding to the state agency involved.

Submit a claim report to the Oklahoma Department of Central Services.

The claim

must include:

Date of the flood occurrence.

Time of the occurrence.

Place of the occurrence.

Circumstances of the claim.

The state agency involved.

The amount of compensation or other relief demanded.

Determining impact:

According to legal experts, the following shoudl be considered:

Loss of income.

Cost of repairing property ersonal and real.

Cost of temporary replacement housing or storage.

Cost of replacing property.

Lost value of propefy (even after repaired).

Lost employment.

Medical expenses - past and future.

Repair or lost value caused by mold.

Cost of clean up supplies and value of time spent cleaning up.

Deadlines:

May 8-13, 2007, claims should be in the hands of state offices no later than May 7.

June 29-July 9, 2007, claims should be in the hands of state offices no later than June 28.