Kathy Rumberger has had flood insurance for 23 years, but she never had to file a claim until the November nor'easter.

It could have been worse, she said. Flood waters killed her heat pump but stayed away from her Bayview home.

The experience reflects what local and state officials said they witnessed from the three-day storm that overwhelmed Hampton Roads. Damage was widespread, but not major enough - and not uninsured enough - for local residents to qualify for federal disaster grants, they said.

To get that kind of help, generally about 100 uninsured homes in a locality must be destroyed or severely damaged, said Larry Braja, human-services officer for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.