Canada Vandals return to evacuated Sechelt homes built on sinkholes, leaving owners heartbroken

07:10  19 january  2020
07:10  19 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

Avalanche in St. John's neighbourhood prompts partial evacuation

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Abandoned ocean view upscale subdivision in Sechelt , B.C. Canada. 14 home owners had to pack up their belongings and leave not sure if they will ever return . Some home owners are suing the district, province of B.C. the developer and even some real estate agents.

At least one family has been forced from their home permanently and possibly a dozen others are left with potentially worthless properties as sinkholes spread through a Sechelt subdivision. Ross and Erin Storey moved to the Sunshine Coast to raise their three children, but their 0

a room with a large window: Damage seen inside a home in the condemned Seawatch community of Sechelt.© Submitted Damage seen inside a home in the condemned Seawatch community of Sechelt.

A condemned Sunshine Coast community that was meant to be a paradise continues to be a nightmare for the former residents being barred from returning.

The latest heartbreak is the return of vandals to homes in the Seawatch development of Sechelt, whose owners can only watch from afar.

"It's heartbreaking," Chris Moradian said from the Burnaby home where he and his wife have been staying since the evacuation last year. "It's our life savings that are being destroyed, and people are allowed to do this."

READ MORE: Properties in this Sechelt, B.C. neighbourhood were once worth over $1M. They now cost $2

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Sinkholes throughout the Seawatch subdivision prompted the District of Sechelt to order the evacuation . The Lathams said they've been told In February 2015, another large sinkhole damaged a home , forcing the owners had to move out. The Lathams said their street began deteriorating early

SECHELT — Greg and Gerry Latham spent Friday morning scrambling to pack up family heirlooms as a series of sinkholes threatened to destroy their “I’m just trying to figure out what to leave behind.” Although the sinkhole risk was documented before most of the homes were built , the Lathams said

At least two homes have had rocks thrown through the windows and graffiti sprayed on the walls, which was discovered Friday.

Pictures supplied by the owners show shattered glass strewn across the floors of rooms that look out onto the ocean, where the Moradians and other families planned to spend their retirements.

"We're just wondering, what's the next thing that's going to happen?" homeowner Ed Pednaud said. "We sit on pins and needles just waiting for the next thing."

The District of Sechelt issued a local state of emergency and evacuation order for the oceanside development last February over persistent and dangerous sinkholes, which began opening up the previous fall.

Homeowners were forced to pack up what they could and leave the once-valuable properties, which remain behind barricades to this day.

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District of Sechelt is a community of 9,000 residents. As a service and retail centre for the greater Sunshine Coast area and with a growing population, Sechelt boasts a thriving business community with room for expansion and innovation.

Five homes still unsafe to enter. Residents of four dwellings permitted to return . (CNN) A sinkhole in Florida that swallowed two houses appears to have Authorities have not said what caused this sinkhole . Pasco County records show the houses were built on the site of a sinkhole , Guthrie said.

The homes were already targeted by vandals back in September, with thieves breaking in and sometimes squatting inside while vandalizing at least five properties.

No suspects were caught or connected to those incidents, but RCMP said they were taking security at the subdivision seriously.

READ MORE: Evacuated homeowners, RCMP concerned over break-ins at condemned Sechelt subdivision

But Moradian says those promises haven't been followed up on.

"We were given assurances from the district, the mayor that they would monitor the area and prevent this from happening," he said.

"They told us they'd be providing security, making sure people didn't enter, but people are just using the area like a park."

Pednaud said the district and RCMP also promised drones, but he "hasn't seen a drone yet."

"RCMP aren't even allowed onsite unless there's a risk to life," he said.

"People are using the area for all sorts of things [despite the evacuation order], but we can't use it for what is intended, which is our home. It's very frustrating."

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Search Sinkhole Affected Parcels and Sinkhole Incidents in Hillsborough County, FL ; Tampa, Plant City, Temple Enter address in the search bar at the top of the map or below the map to find sinkhole properties. Auto-Renews Biweekly, Cancel Anytime. Great for Home Owners , Buyers, and Renters.

Six homes along the 2200 block of Taggert Street were evacuated on Friday after a large sinkhole opened up. The Red Paw Relief Team posted a picture on Twitter showing the sinkhole swallowing up part of the sidewalk and a portion of the block.

RCMP say they are aware of the latest break-ins and are investigating.

READ MORE: Local state of emergency, evacuation order issued for Seawatch subdivision in Sechelt

Questions about security in the area have been forwarded to the District of Sechelt, which has declined to comment citing pending legal action.

Nearly all the homeowners have named the district, the province, the contractor and others in separate civil suits.

The vandalism comes just weeks after the properties, which were once worth over $1 million, were assessed at just $2 — one each for the land and the home.

The ongoing state of emergency, meanwhile, continued to be renewed after weekly assessments, with no word on when it might finally be lifted.

As the lawsuits wind their way through the courts, the homeowners say all they can do is continue to watch and worry.

"We can't even get someone inside to replace the windows," Moradian said.

"It feels like being thrown on the ground and kicked all the time, and no one cares."

With files from Jill Bennett

Thousands of local homes likely have dangerous radon levels: 'You've got to test for it' .
With 11 per cent of the 3,000 tested local homes showing higher-than-safe levels of radon, it begs the question: What about all the homes that have not been tested? “It is something that should be on people’s radar,” Phil Wong, environmental health manager at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said last week, speaking to a new report on Radon Gas Initiatives in Windsor-Essex County. Radon, a radioactive gas produced when naturally occurring uranium decays in the soil and rock beneath your home, is the No. 2 cause of lung cancer after smoking, Wong said. “The one thing with radon is it is a silent killer. You don’t know it’s there. You can’t see it, taste it, smell it.

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