BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A house on Long Island came crashing down, and the homeowner said government bureaucracy is to blame.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported Wednesday, giant bulldozers maneuvered for position as they prepared to knock down the precariously hanging home in Babylon village. The home suddenly turned sideways off its raised foundation late last night, rattling the next door neighbor.
“Randy, the owner, came to my door and he yelled: ‘Get out of the house! The house fell!’” said neighbor Ruth Catanese.
Homeowner Randy Stewart has spent more than three years repairing his Superstorm Sandy-damaged home. He was hoping to complete the elevation of the home by this 4th of July when it suddenly twisted without warning.
“There was no weather, no wind, no rain, — it just happened,” Stewart said. “It just came down.”
Stewart’s neighbors stood in disbelief, and some are now alarmed that the foundations for their own storm-damaged homes along the village’s canals may not be sturdy enough to handle a raised up property.
“All these houses have to have their foundations rebuilt,” said neighbor Mike Schmitt. “But a lot of these pylons are sitting on bogs, and the bogs can sag.”
Stewart’s house was beyond repair, and a pair of giant bulldozers had to shove it off its crushed supports.
Stewart blames the state agency in charge of handing out federal relief money for not paying contractors on time. The contractors then stopped work.
Stewart said the delay left his home raised up ten feet for seven weeks.
“They left us here waiting for months to finish this project,” he said. “The money wasn’t coming forward.”
Stewart hopes his insurance will cover the collapse and he can rebuild yet again, but after several years of being forced to live elsewhere, he’s not so sure anymore.
CBS2 has reached out to the state recovery agency New York Rising for some answers, but had not heard back early Wednesday evening.