Fort Saskatchewan condo evacuees start to move out their belongings as building sits in limbo

Residents allowed to return to evacuated Fort Saskatchewan condo building to grab belongings
WATCH ABOVE: Residents of a Fort Saskatchewan condo building that was evacuated earlier this summer were allowed to return to the complex on Friday to grab their remaining belongings. Sarah Komadina reports.

Six weeks after a Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., condo complex was evacuated, residents are finally allowed to move out their belongings.

The building has been deemed deemed structurally unsound by engineers.

According to a notice sent to residents, it’s going to be a lengthy process to move out belongings. A contracted moving company is emptying just one suite at a time.

The Riverview Estates condo board hired the movers who started on fourth floor Friday morning. The process could take until Oct. 26. The condominium corporation is covering the cost.

Balconies aren’t safe so things like barbecues and patio furniture must be left behind.

READ MORE: No timeline given to residents of ‘structurally unsafe’ Fort Saskatchewan condo

Earlier this year, there were reports of spongy floors in the building. Engineers investigated and deemed the complex structurally unsafe. Residents were only given half an hour to gather important items before they had to leave when the building was evacuated.

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The Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank is available to help residents that need an extra hand with moving.

“There are 44 units that have to move out, and a lot of these people live with other people and they don’t have room to store things, so we teamed with the board of directors of the condominium board and they are giving us the gym area In the good building, so we are delivering boxes and tape so they don’t have to worry about it,”  Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank president Kath Stevenson said.

“We have offered to lend out volunteers for those people who can’t afford to move their furniture off the parking lot, because right now, the professional movers are moving it out of the building, onto the parking lot and then [residents] are responsible for taking it wherever they want to go.

“We offered those who can’t afford it that we would help them.”

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geosciences of Alberta (APEGA)  said the company responsible for the structural design of the condo complex had a history of poor practice.

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READ MORE: Fort Saskatchewan condo engineering firm had history of poor practice, conduct: Alberta regulator

APEGA said they cancelled the engineering permit for Jacobsen Hage Engineering in December 2004, one year after the Riverview Estates condominiums were constructed.

It’s still unclear what will happen to the building moving forward.

READ MORE: Fort Saskatchewan condo deemed ‘structurally unsafe,’ building evacuated