Homeowners flooded during Irma have watchful eye on Dorian

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Some residents in Volusia County are watching Hurricane Dorian and worrying, as their homes were flooded two years ago during Hurricane Irma. Their homes were supposed to be raised up on stilts to prevent it from happening again, but that hasn't happened.

Volusia County Emergency Services told WKMG the state of Florida rejected their applications, saying they needed more proof that the neighborhood will flood again.

Bruce Chiarizzi said he and his wife are dreading the thought of Dorian making landfall.

"I'm panicking. I'm really panicking," Chiarizzi said.

Their home was flooded in 2017 when their home was flooded during Irma. More than 14 inches of water overflowed from the Tomoka River.

"Irma had no regard for all that. It just came up, came in, and we had no chance," Chiarizzi said.

Volusia County Emergency Management applied for federal money, hoping to use it to elevate the Chiarizzi's home and some of their neighbors' homes, putting them on stilts like one that sits across the street.

However, state inspectors are requesting the county conduct more studies on the river, studies that will require the county to buy river gauges.

The Chiarizzis say their left watching Dorian, hoping the floodwaters stay away.

"I don't know how long we can hold out here," Chiarizzi said.

Emergency management officials said they will be resubmitting their applications for the stilts.