Province extends state of emergency, considers options to recoup costs of dismantling crane
HALIFAX -- The localized state of emergency around the site where the crane collapsed in Halifax during post-tropical storm Dorian has been extended for a third time.
A cafe may have reopened shortly after the crane collapse, but business is anything but back to normal.
"Well, it's been extremely difficult with the street being closed and all of our foot traffic has been gone," said café manager Sabrina O'Neill.
The crane collapsed on Sept. 7 and forced the evacuation of homes and nearby businesses. On Sept. 18, the province declared a localized state of emergency to allow for cleanup.
On Wednesday, that state of emergency was renewed a third time -- for another two weeks.
The toppled crane is now removed, but there's still work to do.
Crews are now working on removing a large crane that was brought in to remove the collapsed crane. It's not clear how long that will take.
In the meantime, potential customers for businesses that are open are finding it tough to navigate this series of gated paths.
"You know it is hard to get around, it does require extra time and walking to get to the businesses that you want to frequent," said Halifax resident Suzanne James.
O'Neill says protective fencing and lost parking is keeping some customers away.
Several businesses still under evacuation orders are now part of a class-action lawsuit seeking damages from the developer, the crane operator, and the crane manufacturer.
When it comes to the cost of the crane removal to taxpayers -- the province says it's working out just what the final bill will be.
"We're just starting now to get the invoices from the companies that were employed," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Lloyd Hines. "We'll be looking to see what our ability is to collect that from the folks that own the equipment and so on."
Hines says he hopes that won't mean going to court, but didn't rule that out either.
As for the damaged building where the crane collapsed, city officials say it's up to the developer to decide what to do with it.