All that remains of the Flamingo Hotel as of Thursday, July 11, 2019. To the right is the remaining wall adjacent to Surrey Urban Mission. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Whalley

Flamingo demolition crews hit water main in Surrey

Hotel is ‘98 per cent’ torn down

Demolition on the former Flamingo hotel hit a snag earlier this week.

Crews “smashed” a water pipe underneath the hotel during the demolition, said Charan Sethi, of Tien Sher, the company redeveloping the site.

“What happened is there is a water pipe underneath the hotel, which nobody is aware of,” said Sethi on July 11, adding that there was water “all over the place.”

Sethi said the water was shut off “with half-an-hour” and “nothing major” happened.”

READ MORE: Surrey’s former Flamingo Hotel goes with a bang, June 22, 2019

Michael Musgrove, executive director of Surrey Urban Mission which runs a nightly 50-bed shelter next door, said it caused minor flooding to his building.

“There was so much water. It was just pouring out,” he said of the rupture. “They were trying to move the water around to get it to a good location and in the process it kicked back and soon after that, we ended up with some water.”

Thankfully, it was minor, said Musgrove.

“It wasn’t much, two mop buckets full,” he said of the water that made its way into his building. “We moved some stuff and they came over and vacuumed it up.”

But, he noted, it could’ve been disastrous.”

“I jokingly say it looks like McCallum’s getting his canal.”

Musgrove said there have been some other issues.

“We were concerned with a building being taken down next to ours and not a lot of communication about what’s happening, or discussion about scenarios and things that could go wrong and what to do about it.

Musgrove said he became concerned about his staff when he saw crews up on a roof pulling off flashing, which he described as metal that serves as rain-proofing.

Musgrove said he contacted WorkSafeBC when he became concerned for his staff, and what resulted “sounded like formality.”

“The other thing WCB made sure was happening was the engineering report we wanted from the beginning. The engineering report was hopefully done yesterday, and filed today,” he said Thursday.

Musgrove said the two buildings are “touching” and said “this is where things got concerning for me.

“I wanted assurances from them and I wasn’t getting anything,” he said, adding that he’s “hoping it’s all resolved now.”

Sethi said he was aware of Musgrove and the concerns for Surrey Urban Mission’s building.

He said crews are being “extra cautious” taking down the wall adjacent to the mission “because we don’t want to see any damage being done to the SUM property.”

As of Thursday (July 11), Sethi said “98 per cent” of the former hotel had been torn down, and there is now a clear view from King George Boulevard, across the property and through to Whalley Boulevard.

Sethi and Tien Sher held the official Flamingo demolition party on July 22.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s Flamingo ‘closing forever’ in February, with demolition planned soon after, Jan. 15, 2019



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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