Rachael Ray and her husband John Cusimano are dealing with yet another real-estate fiasco just a year after losing her longtime home to a fire.
Ray, 53, told People that after the family's primary home in Lake Luzerne, New York burned down, she and Cusimano moved to their New York City apartment. The couple renovated the apartment, but just after the project was complete, another disaster struck.
"We had finally just finished the work on making the (NYC) apartment over. And then, Ida took it out," Ray said, referencing the hurricane that wreaked havoc from Louisiana to the East Coast in several weeks ago. "And I mean out. Down, hard."
Ray said that flooding from the storm made it "like the apartment just literally melted, like in 'Wicked' or something."
Hurricane Ida led to historic rainfall and massive flooding in the tri-state area, shutting down New York City's subway system and causing massive damage to homes and apartments. The storm also created tornadoes and led to states of emergency being declared in multiple states. At least 42 people in New York and New Jersey were killed in the storm, including a two-year-old toddler.
Since the storm was so severe, repair options were heavily delayed. Ray said that she and her husband had to wait a week before a remediation team could come in and assess the damage. Once the team was able to get to work, things only got messier.
"(The remediation team) comes in. They put up their fans and their humidifiers. And then, they make a hole in the wall and break the main water pipe and flood the entire building down to the first floor, from our apartment on the sixth floor," said Ray. "The people that we were waiting for, the cavalry, burst this pipe and made everything worse."
"Tell me you would not feel like a kicked can," she continued.
Ray didn't say where she and Cusimano are living now, but noted that they still "have so much to be grateful for" and do have other home options, including a guest house next-door to their former home in Lake Luzerne and a recently restored villa in Tuscany, Italy.
"There are so much worse positions we could be in," Ray said. "I mean, I'm alive. And I do have a roof over my head. And I do have a job. … At the end of the day, we always come back to grateful. John and I talk about it a lot. We really talk ourselves right through it at the end or the beginning of every day. Some days are different than others. But we try and just say, 'Okay. Here's the new plan. Here's today's version of the plan. Look at how much we have to be grateful for.'"