Demolished: Drug haven taken down in less than 3 minutes

HARLINGEN — The school children chanted “tear it down, tear it down” as big yellow machinery blasted through the roof.

With the encouragement of city officials, the children cheered on the destruction of the tiny run-down house.

More than 50 students from Zavala Elementary witnessed the little blue and white house that once used to be a haven for drugs and crime be demolished.

The spectacle only lasted about three minutes, but according to city officials, the impact of tearing down this structure will last a lifetime – and of course be a benefit to the community.

Like previous years, the city has partnered with the Texas National Guard in a joint effort to demolish dilapidated structures which often serve as a haven for criminal activity. These buildings also are an outright eyesore for neighbors and others.

The little blue and white house located at 614 N. C Street looked as though no one had lived in it for years.

Just minutes before the demo, Police Chief Jeffry Adickes said the police department had responded to this particular house a number of times over the years.

The calls differed in nature, from criminal mischief, graffiti, and loud music, Adickes said.

“Today, when we take this house down, its going to be a fresh palette and a fresh piece of paper and a new piece of art that will live in Harlingen from now on,” he said.

In its place will be a new home for a family, courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

During the past five years, the city has demolished 134 unsafe, crime-ridden structures and worked with dozens of private property owners to demolish more than 94 others and rehabilitate many more.

Known as Operation Crackdown, the Texas National Guard deployed a demolition unit of service men and women to be stationed in Harlingen from now through March 11.

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