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‘The whole house shook:’ Residents say blasting at Durham construction site is damaging homes

December 15, 2018

One week after a blasting mishap sent debris flying into Durham homes, residents in the neighborhood say blasting from the nearby construction site is continuing to cause damage.

Several cracks in the foundation of the Gallman home weren’t there when they moved in earlier this year. The family said blasting at the construction site behind their house has been causing damage for the past few months.

An inspection done before East Coast Drilling and Blasting began working near Jay Gallman’s home found only one crack in his foundation.

“Fast forward and now there are other cracks, but one that we’re watching right now is this crack, which you can clearly see down here, and clear see at the bottom that that’s wet,” he said.

From cracks in the bathroom to a leaky pipe, Gallman said he and his wife walk around the house after every blast to see if anything else has been damaged.

Gallman’s wife, Renee, works from home and feels the blasts when they happen.

“The lighter ones, the house just shakes and the windows shake and rattle. The ones last week were the stronger ones and the whole house shook,” she said.

Last week, debris from that big blast landed right in Mary Jane Stakem’s home, crashing through her roof.

“Through the ceiling, ending up over here in the floor, where it broke through the carpeting and the floor boards before coming to rest,” Stakem said.

With her roof fixed and the rest of the repairs coming soon, including damage to her car caused by the flying debris, she said she’s happy with East Coast Drilling and Blasting’s quick response.

“Taking it in this coming Monday to have it repaired and they said they would pick the cost for that,” she said of her damaged car.

Across the street, Gallman feels like his problems are being ignored.

“If these things are all within code, then why are we experiencing damage,” he asked.

The Durham Fire Department said they’re working on a list of requirements for the company to move forward with any blasting. The company’s permit has not been reinstated after the fire marshal’s office revoked it following last week’s incident.

WRAL News reached out to East Coast Drilling and Blasting, but was told the company would not comment.

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