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Demolition of flood-damaged homes in Bellevue begins

Posted at 2:36 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 10:51:24-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — “It was a nice quiet neighborhood, that was part of the reason we liked it,” Chris Flesher, Paradise Lakes Homeowner said.

Nearly 200 families called Paradise Lakes home.

“We had a water view, nobody behind us,” Flesher said. “We had the lake right there, you could go fishing. Probably not the paradise everybody thinks, but it was a nice place to live."

This Spring, every home in this neighborhood was flooded. Water reached windows on the main flood.

The City of Bellevue deemed the home in the neighborhood unsafe to live in due to structural damage, mold, and contamination from flood waters.

Tuesday, Bellevue City Council decided all homes must be demolished by July 30. The city will tear down remaining homes in August.

Thursday morning, Flesher and his family were the first to demolish their home. Watching the place they called home for just one year gives them some closure, he said.

“I've had a lot of sleepless nights worried about this not knowing what happening,” Flesher said. “It’s been broke into several times.”

He said he’s heard from some of his neighbors who would like to tear down their homes, but don’t have the money to do it.

“They used the FEMA money to move on with their lives, get other places to live, clothes, all that stuff,” Flesher said.

Chris Christensen “Sad, it makes me feel very sad for them,” Chris Christensen, Owner, Christensen Excavating said. “I look around here and its their homes, their personal belonging.”

Christensen said it costs several thousand dollars to demolish a home; and the owners are expected to foot the bill.

“There's a lot of homes here,” Christensen said. “I don't know who owns all of the houses, so it will be cutting it close (to the six week deadline.) The average house we can wreck in a day so we can wreck quite a few in a month and a half.”

Flesher isn’t sure what will come of his property in Paradise Lakes. He isn’t interested in rebuilding there. His family is hoping to buy their next paradise in a year.