It only took an hour to demolish a house that had been in the same family for three generations but for the young homeowners, who’d experienced a sinkhole during the June flood, it meant progress in their quest to return to a normal life.
“It is a joyous occasion,” said Cody Weiss as he watched the demolition crew get ready on Wednesday morning.
After three months living in a hotel, while discussions took place regarding the future of homes in the Flats deemed unsafe due to sinkholes, Weiss’s partner Brittney Meier was also smiling as demolition began.
“If my grandma Veronica Meier was here and could have seen what happened in the flood she’d also say we should get rid of it,” said Brittney.
Her father Charles Meier was in a more sombre mood.
“It sucks,” he said.
As heavy equipment bashed away at the structure and walls tumbled down, Brittney’s mood changed to one of reflection.
“I’ll try to remember the home by looking at photos from happier times,” said Brittney. “My grandma made this a happy home.”
The couple’s home on Queen Street is one of about 14 with sinkholes the Province has agreed to replace with a new one of the same size. For those who do not want to rebuild in the same location there is the option of a cash buyout the choice Weiss and Meier opted for.
Weiss and Meier were required to submit two quotes for demolition to the Disaster Recovery Program, which agreed to cover the cost.
After the rubble is removed from the site, the City will purchase the lot from the couple. Mayor Norm Boucher has said empty lots such as this will perhaps become community gardens in future.
Weiss says they will buy an existing home in Crescent Heights — as far from a flood zone as they can get.