FALMOUTH, N.S. – Four months after it lurched into a sinkhole with a terrifying clamour in the middle of the night, a Nova Scotia house has been demolished.
Heather Strickey stood outside her Falmouth, N.S., home Tuesday as an excavator ripped apart the dream home she’d moved her family into more than a decade ago.
“We thought that this was the house that we would watch our kids graduate from high school, get married, all those wonderful landmark moments, retire here, head to the golf course from here,” she said.
“But obviously that’s not going to happen.”
Strickey was home with one of her teenaged daughters on Sept. 3 when they heard a terrifying sound. They escaped to discover their two-storey home had sagged into the ground and a large sinkhole had opened up.
“We knew it would have to be taken down due to the structural damage to the house. So this was the day that it was decided they would take it down. And uh, there it goes,” Strickey said, the excavator ripping into the home behind her.
After the collapse, Strickey and her family stayed with friends until they recently rented a home in nearby Windsor. They’re still waiting for their insurance provider to make a decision on whether the collapse will be covered.
“We’re renting that but we’re still taking care of the mortgage here in hopes that at some point, we will have the ability to move on and own another home in the local area,” she said.
“It’s a very complicated, difficult situation. Our lawyers are still speaking to our insurance provider trying to figure out how all of this is going to be taken care of.”
In the days and weeks after the incident, residents in her neighbourhood held meetings to voice concerns about their own homes. At the time, a geologist with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources told Global News that the area is mapped as “high risk” for naturally occurring sinkholes.
“It makes it a high risk because of the rock type that’s underneath the gypsum,” said Bob Ryan at the time.
The Municipality of West Hants, however, said it had never been advised that the region was at a high risk and called the incident an “isolated natural event.”
Meanwhile, Strickey said she remains hopeful and is trying to move on.