Local News

Jul 19, 2013 2:27 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Gas Explosion Leaves Homeowners Considering Demolition

CORPUS CHRISTI - It's been one week since the terrible natural gas explosion that leveled one home, destroyed dozens of others and took one man's life. The blast happened in a south side neighborhood near La Palmera Mall. Through all the devastation, some residents have now called on engineers to assess the damage.

Homeowners are trying to find out if demolition might be the best route, rather than repairing their homes.

Dora Phillips' home is directly behind the house that exploded one week ago. Engineer Cory Walker was called in by Phillip's insurance adjuster to help assess the damage.

"My job will be to tell the adjuster the extent of the damage his job is going to be to put numbers to it," Walker said.

As a team, they will check any structural damage inside and outside. They'll note everything from cracked ceilings to shattered windows and even survey the roof. Walker says evaluating all the damage after the initial assessment is complete could take weeks.

"14 days is like I said, slightly ambitious, I'm hoping to get reports turned around in that amount of time," Walker added.

The reports will help Phillip's insurance agent to estimate a total cost for the repairs needed to rebuild the home. Walker says homes affected by the explosion don't necessarily have to be demolished but deciding that isn't just up to him.

"That doesn't completely rest on my shoulders, usually whether it needs to be rebuilt or not is a matter of cost. Theoretically you can repair anything, it's just a matter of how much it's going to cost to do so," Walker said.

Walker specializes in assessing architectural and structural components, plumbing and electrical problems will have to be examined independently.

Until all the evaluations are complete, Phillips and her son will continue calling a hotel home.

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