Noah's Ark Replica Owners Sue Over Rain Damage

Owners of Ark Encounter say insurers need to pay up
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2019 11:10 AM CDT
Noah's Ark Replica Owners Sue Over Rain Damage
The Williamstown High School marching band performs before a ribbon cutting to announce the opening of the Ark Encounter theme park during a media preview day, Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Williamstown, Ky.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Don't confuse the original Noah's Ark with the Ark Encounter—only the latter is suing its insurers over rain damage, CNN reports. The Kentucky attraction, which boasts a $120 million replica of the biblical ark, was affected when heavy rainfall in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on the property and hampered access to the ark. "You got to get to the boat to be on the boat," spokeswoman Melany Ethridge tells the Courier-Journal. But five insurance carriers are refusing to pay almost $1 million for a new retaining wall and other repairs designed to ease access to the boat, per the Washington Post. Insurers say their policy excludes payments for faulty workmanship or design deficiencies.

Then there's the possible issue of fake news. "Contrary to some reporting, the damage to certain areas of the Ark Encounter themed attraction was not caused by a 'flood,'" says Ethridge. "The ark was built on bedrock and was never in jeopardy." The 510-foot-long wooden ark—which Fox News calls "life-size"—is part of an attraction that generated controversy when it opened in 2016. The ACLU and other groups sued over their hiring practices; employees have to sign a document rejecting evolution and declaring homosexuality a sin. The site was built by the ministry Answers in Genesis, whose leader, Ken Ham, calls the Bible is an accurate historical narrative and says humans lived alongside dinosaurs. (More Ark Encounter stories.)

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