NEW ORLEANS -- Take one look at the crane sitting on the bare lot freshly spread with sand, and you can tell what happened here: a structure was demolished.
But for next-door neighbor Dorothy Brooks, seeing the empty lot was reason to cheer.
'Very happy, very, very happy,' she said. 'It makes a great difference because now I can sleep. Actually, last night I slept for the first time, and did not have to worry about whether the building was going to fall off me, or on my house, or on me, or anybody that passes by. So this is a blessing.'
She said the house next door had been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. Most of the roof had caved in and the rest of the structure was rotting.
But she really got worried when the side walls separated during Hurricane Isaac, and began leaning towards her home.
'Very frightened, because I'm not sure when it's going to collapse,' she said at the time. 'The appearance of it, it could be at any given time.'
When I contacted City Hall, I asked them for an emergency demolition, because the house was in such bad shape, actually collapsing towards hers. Well, they were right on the spot. They emailed me within about five hours, and almost immediately afterward they were on the scene, amazing Dorothy Brooks.
'I man it was just unbelievable,' Dorothy said. 'I didn't expect it to happen that fast, but I'm grateful. I am so grateful, and I thank God for you.'