A home that was badly damaged in Hurricane Sandy and was set to be demolished has been given a new lease on life. It was hoisted onto its new foundation Tuesday, but the owners now fear some of the work that was done, might not be required when new flood maps are released.
Looking at the home his family has enjoyed for more than 4 decades in Sea Isle, 91 year-old Sam Lisa says in Italian that they're fortunate to see it be saved. "This is a beautiful old house," he said, "you see those cedar shakes? They're original." And they've been through a lot in the 106 years the house been there –it was even knocked off its foundation during Hurricane Sandy.
Badly damaged, it was slated for demolition.
"They gave me an order to either stabilize or demolish," said Charlie Lisa. So they did what they had to do to save the home, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. "My father loves it down here, he's 91 years-old but it makes him young."
Tuesday, what was left of the house that's more than a century old, was hoisted more than 40 feet into the air, "We got it all supported equally," said Jerry Davis, owner of J.L. Davis House movers, that headed up the project, "that's what makes the difference," and placed onto a brand new first floor - a complicated process that's taken more than a month to get to.
"It's been an uphill battle to get this far," said Charlie Lisa, "and you know, we're at the top right now, the rest of it will hopefully be down hill."
The home now sits on top of 15-foot pilings, something the owners, being in a so-called velocity zone according to FEMA flood maps, were required to do. But updated maps are forthcoming and could show major changes. In Atlantic county, the "v-zones", areas known as having the highest risk, were reduced by 80% "Please don't tell me they lowered the requirements," said Lisa, who had heard about the new maps, "and I spent thousands of dollars that I didn't have to?"
It's unknown what the changes, if there are any, would be, but Lisa didn't want to wait for the new maps. "They wanna just get back in their house," said Davis, "you know, so whatever they were being told, that's what they did."
While they may've gone above and beyond what's now required, "it's gonna be one of the highest structures on the island now," said Charlie Lisa, "they say it's worth it to finally be back in their beloved shore home.
"I'm very happy that the house is gonna be live-able again," said Sam Lisa, "and we'll be able to fish right off the end of the pier."