Neighbors Blame Home Damage on Demolition of Old Yolo County General Hospital

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WOODLAND -- The buildings that formed the abandoned Yolo County General Hospital are all gone after demolition workers cleared the site for a new low-income and transitional housing complex. Many are glad the eyesore and home to transients and squatters is gone.

But neighbors didn't realize that the demolition work would cause extensive damage to their homes.

Howeowner Joni Rubio says the foundation of her house has a crack running across it where the ground has shifted two inches.

That has caused gaps in the windows, cracks in the wood floors and her new driveway to bow in the middle. Numerous cracks run across her garage floor and into the street.

Next door Russell Caldwell said crews from Unlimited Environmental used huge front loaders with jack hammer attachments to break up piles of concrete placed right across his backyard fence.

"I thought it was an earthquake at first," said Caldwell when the work began last September.

He said the pounding went on for 30 days despite his wife's continued complaints. Now the framing of his house has shifted causing cracks in his exterior stucco and walls to shift off the foundations. He said the vibrations pulled the nails out of his $10,000 fence and cracked wood panels. He showed FOX40 numerous cracks around his pool patio and backyard cracks that extended across two of his neighbor's driveways.

Yolo County General Services Director Kevin Yarris said they sent Yolo County insurance adjusters to examine the damage and made sure the claims were sent to the contractor's insurance company. Yarris said the county contract with Unlimited Environmental is liable for all construction-related damage.

Still some of the residents with damage felt they were getting the attention they deserved when they first complained about demolition methods they claim were against county policy. Now some feel they have the burden of showing the damage wasn't caused by normal shifting of the soil. They must also get estimates for repair work that may or may not be accepted.

"They are the ones doing all the damage and we are the ones doing all the work for them," said Rubio.

While some homeowners are waiting to see how the insurance process plays out, some have consulted attorneys to make sure their interests don't get lost in the shuffle.