forest cove townhome demolition seconds before the final collapse

Caught on Camera: Moment Forest Cove Townhome Toppled

This morning at 10:34 AM, the last remains of another Forest Cove townhome complex toppled to the ground. The HCFCD demolition contractor nibbled away at it last week and earlier this morning. Eventually, all but a narrow strip of the last townhome in the complex had turned into a pile of rubble.

That strip started to lean. Then, suddenly, one more touch from the excavator, and the building collapsed on itself with a billowing cloud of dust and a thunderous boom. When the dust cleared, only one last complex remained standing.

We are nearing the end of a process that started in 2018.

Sequence of Photos

As of Saturday, 7/16/22, one of the last three buildings was completely gone along with half of the second.
Early Monday, 7/18/22, demolition of the remaining portion of the second building started again.
As the excavator clawed away at the building, it started to lean.
Periodically, the excavator would pile more rubble under itself so it could then reach higher. Note falling doors, walls and floors, frozen in space by the camera’s fast shutter speed.
What took months to build came down in seconds. Note the severe bowing of the wall on the right.

Final Collapse Caught on Camera

At this point, I sensed the building would soon collapse. So, I switched from the drone to my Nikon which can shoot many more frames per second. And then it started…

With parts of the second and third floors removed, along with most of the truss structure in the attic, the remainder of the building started to collapse in on itself.
A chimney came tumbling forward.
The final collapse took less than 10 seconds.
Three minutes later, the dust had cleared.

Next Steps

Contractors will extract any recyclable waste from the rubble. Then, they will crush what remains so that it takes less space in a landfill. Finally, they will remove the concrete from the foundation and likely recycle that, too.

Eventually, this area will return to nature. However, what form that takes has not yet been determined. Typically, HCFCD partners with other organizations such as the Houston Parks Board to create and maintain improvements such as trails, parks or recreational space. In fact, the Houston Parks Board West Fork Trail currently ends behind the rubble in the photo above. The Parks Board plans to extend it to Edgewater Park at US59, so hikers and bikers can connect from the Kingwood Trail System to the Spring Creek Greenway.

Demo Date for Last Building

After this morning, only one Forest Cove townhome complex remains standing. That’s at 1020 Marina Drive near the community swimming pool. According to Amy Stone, a Flood Control District spokesperson, HCFCD will demolish that building starting August 1, 2022. More news to follow.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/18/2022

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