Wrecking ball descends on flood-damaged Deerpark homes

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Demolition is underway at Deerpark homes destroyed by flooding of the Neversink River, washing away many homeowners? dreams.

The demolition comes after a 2004 flood, which resulted in the town condemning 22 homes in the Myers Grove section. Town Supervisor Mark House says he?s been working toward rebuilding the flood zone area, but legal and environmental issues delayed FEMA and local response.

Tina Bonsanti videotaped her father?s home being leveled. Bonsanti says the buildings are more than just piles of rotting wood. She says she didn?t have the heart to tell her father about the demolition date. George Lombardi owns numerous properties near the river and he?s not willing to let them go. Lombardi is suing the town to stop demolition, saying outside experts have told him the buildings can be saved.

Deerpark officials say the flooding is partially due to high water levels in New York City reservoirs. The town has enacted stricter building requirements and the Department of Environmental Protection has agreed to keep reservoir levels lower prior to the heavy rain season.

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