NEW ORLEANS -- When the city of New Orleans sent Elva Pratts a demolition order for her Broadmoor home, she was stunned.
"I was very angry, because we were doing work on the house,” she said. “We had a roof put on, we had it painted. I have somebody coming out to cut the grass, and I couldn't understand why they wanted to tear it down when it's not falling down."
The city's demolition order describes the house as a threat and public nuisance. But it's not falling down.
Pratts’ contractor said he's trying to get a building permit, and he was shocked at the demolition notice.
"I thought they were wrong to do something like that. That's why I came down to find out what's going on,” Pratts said. “I'm worried because I don't want it ti happen, and I would like to get it completed so I can come back home."
When Pratts got the demolition notice, she sent me an emergency email, worried the city would tear the structure down before she had a chance to convince them otherwise.
So I contacted City Hall and told them if they need to tear a place down, I've got a whole list of structures that are actually collapsing right now. But in this case to take another look at this, and it will show them it doesn't need to be torn down. And when she got to City Hall three hours later, they were waiting for her.
"It's on hold right now, because the Code Violation Bureau is holding it. They took it,” Pratts said.
City officials did not explain why the demolition notice was sent. But now Pratts is trying to put her contractor to work, because she's been living in Monroe since evacuating for Katrina, and she wants to come home.
"It would be really good, becasue I can be back home where everything is familiar,” Pratts said. “I was raised in New Orleans, so I'd like to be back here."