NEW ORLEANS -- It's just an empty lot, the muddy surface scarred by demolition machinery. But this is the sign of victory for residents in this Algiers neighborhood, because the collapsing house that stood here has finally been torn down.
"Thank you. I am very excited, because it been coming,” said neighbor Charles Thomas.
When Charles Thomas contacted me a year ago, the garage had collapsed, the walls were cracking, and there was serious structural damage. The neighbors were afraid all of it would fall.
“Fall on my house, or somebody come in there, and throw something in there, and start it on fire, or something like that."
Hurricane Isaac did even more damage. The back well fell and the neighbors worried about children playing inside the dangerous structure.
"I was very frightened because kids, you got kids live right next door,” Thomas said.
An added concern for the neighbors was that the lot was becoming a dump, like the people who dropped off these old tires they don't want any more. I spent a lot of time emailing the city about this over the last year. They went through their process.
The end of November, they reached the administrative judgment, and about a month and half later, the demolition crew came out, and Thomas said when the house went down, it went quickly.
"It went fast. It ain't took but 20 minutes to get the house down,” he said. “It makes a big difference, and the neighbors are saying, you know, it's about time.”