VIRGINIA

Holly Acres residents recover from flooding, now fight Prince William County to come home

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It's been months since residents of the Holly Acres Mobile Home Park have been back to their homes.

This mother and child want to move back into their home at Holly Acres.

Their homes were damaged by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee in September.

Now they're fighting more than just Mother Nature's fury.

The flooding demolished 63 of the 109 trailers. Another eight were deemed uninhabitable, even though many residents have already made extensive repairs.

Maria Carranza and her extended family have been crammed together, belongings piled everywhere, since September, with 21 people living in a small house.

"There's no room, no privacy," Carranza says. "It's really just frustrating."

"We can fix it up and it would be perfect," she says. "But they just don't let us."

The county claims those eight trailers--and what's now just a field of dirt--fall within a flood area and no one can rebuild.

"We can't allow that because that's the FEMA regulations that's there," says Jason Grant, a spokesperson for Prince William County. "Why would someone want to put someone at risk? Why would someone want to risk the lives of others?"

But Holly Acres owner Henry Ridge disputes that, saying no one told him he was in a flood area, as required. He suspects the county is trying to force him and the residents out.

"Our park, as is most mobile home communities in this area, are 99 percent Hispanic," Ridge says. "It could be that, but nobody's gonna admit that."

Meantime, the Carranzas, with five sleeping in one small bedroom, wait and hope:

"I want to go back. I want my home back," Maria Carranza says.

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