Home Demolition Moving Forward In Hancock County

It will only take a heavy equipment operator about 30 minutes to demolish a Waveland home, but hours and hours went into preparing for this day. For instance, Freon had to be removed from air conditions and gas lines had to be cleared and removed.

"It would be easy just to demolish the whole house and take it away, but we can't do that. We have all these laws, EPA laws, OSHA laws and State of Mississippi laws we have to abide by. And when we dispose of the stuff, we want to think about 20 years from now and what effect that will have on the people, " the Corps' Public Relations Field Director Mark Davidson said.

Davidson says what appears to be a lot of bureaucratic governmental red tape is really for the protection of the public and the environment. For instance, local fire departments must be lined up to provide water for the demolition process to keep down dust and asbestos particles.

"The house today does not have transient in it, but if it does, there are special procedures, special handling for the debris crews demolishing it. plus transporting it to a site. You have to have special training, special equipment for their safety and for the public safety. Then when they transport it to a special landfill, that does add time to the process, but we think we're taking care of the public safety."

Gary DeSchane, is the Corps of Engineers' Quality Assurance Field Officer. He echoed Davidson's words.

"We don't want to contaminate anything."

So far only a handful of storm damaged homes have been demolished by the Corps. About 400 remain on the list.

"It will start picking up this week and next week as we get more debris crews in," Davidson said.

The goal is to have every home on that list destroyed and hauled away within six months.

To have your storm damaged home demolished, you must first fill out a right of entry form. For more information about that contact the Hancock County Emergency Operation Center at (228) 466-8214.

by Al Showers