‘One step forward, three steps back:’ Ormond Beach homeowners face flooding again

Couple hopes to sell their home to FEMA after being struck by Ian and Nicole

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Ormond Beach homeowners are faced with more devastation after Hurricane Nicole came barreling through Central Florida.

News 6 reporter Treasure Roberts spoke with Lisa and Bruce Chiarizzi Monday, just a couple days before Nicole made landfall.

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They were still recovering from Hurricane Ian. That storm flooded their home, leaving them with only one small room of salvaged items.

Now, they can’t believe this happened to them all over again.

“The walls are soaking wet. The floor we just bought, this — it’s heart-wrenching,” Bruce Chiarizzi said.

The couple was already in the process of making repairs.

They spent several nights sleeping in an RV while trying to revive their home.

Lisa Chiarizzi previously mentioned that she was depressed after watching Ian’s floodwaters ruin her home, and just when she started to get hopeful, Nicole came with another blow.

“One step forward, three steps back,” Bruce Chiarizzi said.

After intense cleaning, replacing drywall, painting and even purchasing thousands of dollars’ worth of new appliances, floodwaters rushed their home again Thursday.

They now have to tear out the drywall they just put in and replace it.

Surrounded by damage, the pair said their house doesn’t feel like home.

“It’s painful to be in here, let alone trying to rebuild it again and again,” Bruce Chiarizzi said.

They feel like Volusia County officials and federal officials are ignoring their cries for help.

“All we [want to] do at this point show FEMA [and] show Volusia County that we’re here, too,” he said. “This is my home, and it hurts.”

The flooding has been such an issue for them that the couple is considering selling their home to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and moving to an area that does not flood.

Although they have been denied twice over the past six years, the couple hopes they will be approved for funding to raise the house on stilts. They said it would help prevent major flooding in the future.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.