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Demolition underway on Somers home teetering on edge of Lake Michigan

Posted at 6:48 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 17:44:48-05

SOMERS — It's taken over a year, but demolition has started on the Somers home teetering on the edge of Lake Michigan.

"I have a feeling it will lose a lot in that lake," Steven Pounders said. "They should have done something a little bit sooner."

It was about a year and a half ago the back porch fell into the lake because of erosion. Over the last 18 months, that erosion has gone at a rapid pace, losing another 15 feet in the process. So now, as crews work to take down the problem area, it's even more difficult.

"We're trying to be extremely delicate," Max Lucansky, the contractor said. "Too much shaking could make it go over or it could be good for another ten years. We don't know how it's going to hold up but so far so good."

Lucansky climbed in and out of the crane several times Tuesday. Their early struggles were exasperated by a roughly 60 year old crane. He says they had to use an older model because, if something went wrong and the ground gave way, they couldn't risk losing another one. However, with the age of the machine comes problems. Heavy duty cables kept jumping over the pulley and getting dislodged. It delayed their morning a handful of times.

"It's excruciating," Lucansky said. "It's unfortunately become a rushed project with a bunch of moving parts that are difficult to rush. That's lead to a majority of our issues."

During the afternoon, Lucansky got in a rhythm and tore down a large portion of the roof. Overall, a small mount of debris fell over the cliff, and a piece of the corner wall. However, he feels happy with how things are going.

He's also working with a crowd. Dozens of people show up to see the spectacle of destruction. While most express their empathy for the family who lost the home, they're also interested in how this will all unfold.

"The poor guy got left hanging, pun intended," Robert Palamar of Illinois said. "This is a repeat of history. 45 years ago, growing up in Zion, I was watching the houses fall into the water. With this old crane here, I'm reliving my past. It's a shame they let this happen. It's inevitable. I'm surprised they let it stay here this long."

Daylight Saving forced crews to call it quits around 4:00 p.m. Tuesday. However, Lucansky says they'll be back at it again bright and early Wednesday morning. He still feels confident they will clear the problem area by Wednesday.