IRMA: Ocala woman dealing with flooded home weeks after storm

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A woman in Marion County is still dealing with flooding caused by Hurricane Irma.

  • Ocala home remains flooded after Irma
  • Homeowner says retention pond levels up 10 feet
  • The property was deemed unsafe

Jessica Conroy says her Ocala home flooded when the storm came through more than two weeks ago.  

"I'm very emotional, depressed, heartbroken,” Conroy said. “I lost things that were from my childhood when my daughter was a baby that are not replaceable​.”

Conroy said the water level of the retention pond in the back of her house is up at least 10 feet. She said it's starting to go down, but there's still water inside her house and the water is a combination of the retention pond and her septic tank that backed up.  

On Wednesday, the county put a sign on her mailbox that said the property was unsafe. She says she doesn't know what to tell her 4-year-old daughter.

"It's very depressing that my daughter gets upset about the fact that we can't go home, we don't have a home​," Conroy said.  

Conroy has homeowners insurance, but not flood insurance. She's staying with her parents, until she can figure out a way to buy another home.  

County officials sent us a statement saying, "Though not within a mapped FEMA floodplain, this property is located in a flood-prone area.”

Marion County has documented drainage/flooding issues from this address since 1992. It recently completed a large project in 2015 to help mitigate it, including purchasing land to expand pond storage to the DRA behind the property and modifying a DRA north of the property to improve overflow.

In addition, the county made improvements to the stormwater collection system around the cul-de-sac so the water would be hard-piped to the DRA instead of runoff flowing through the property to the DRA.  

The DRA has functioned well in smaller storm events, but there is always a possibility of flooding in a hurricane – especially one that brings 8 to 10 inches of water with it.

Given the land area available, there is a limit to the amount of DRA work that can be done to accommodate such a large volume of rainfall. 

If the property owner feels that the county is at fault, he or she is able to file a claim with our Risk Management department to be investigated."​