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‘Hurry up’: Small Halifax businesses lose profits, employees due to toppled crane delays

Business owners frustrated over slow cleanup process post-Dorian
WATCH: Despite a recent declaration of a localized state of emergency, the cleanup after Hurricane Dorian so far has been slow. Alexa MacLean has more.

It has been two weeks since a downtown Halifax construction crane fell due to hurricane Dorian, and left a popular block closed to traffic of all kinds.

Tenants have been displaced and businesses continue to be closed.

READ MORE: N.S. declares localized state of emergency to ensure removal of downed crane

Stillwell Beergarden has not only lost profit, but had to lay off employees as well.

“The block was shut down and so we’re basically not able to get in the site now, still, it’s the 20th of September, so we’ve lost a lot of business. We’ve got 15 employees who are out of work now, it’s been awful, it’s been frustrating,” Chris Reyonlds said, the co-owner of Stillwell Beergarden.

Chris Reynolds is the co-owner of Stillwell Beergarden and says they’ve had to lay off their employees due to the delayed removal process of the toppled crane.
Chris Reynolds is the co-owner of Stillwell Beergarden and says they’ve had to lay off their employees due to the delayed removal process of the toppled crane. Alexa MacLean/Global Halifax

The provincial government declared a localized state of emergency to ensure the safe removal of the crane that’s resting on a building, which was being constructed prior to the incident.

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The Emergency Management Office says the declaration allows the province to step in to oversee the crane’s safe and timely removal.

READ MORE:  ‘I just want to be in the loop’: Evacuees left in the dark over crane removal progress

However, an official removal date is still unclear and the dismantling process has been anything but a smooth process.

“There’s sort of been several agencies that have been working on it. We’ve heard whispers from certain members of all these organizations like, it will be a few days, it will be several weeks. So, it’s been extremely difficult to make any kind of plan,” Reynolds said.

According to the information from the province, engineers who have been assigned to the removal process say the crane will be removed in a matter of weeks, not months.

Next door to the beer-garden, a Halifax cafe remains open but were closed for several days following the hurricane and subsequent issues with the crane.

READ MORE: ‘I just want to be in the loop’: Evacuees left in the dark over crane removal progress

Staff at Humani-T Cafe count themselves as lucky for being able to re-open and can empathize with the challenges the slow removal has created for other fellow small businesses.

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“I think it’s extremely frustrating, there’s been tons of meetings every single day about this and they aren’t sharing any of that information and they say it will take about two weeks when they start taking it down,” Sabrina O’Neill said, the manage of the South Park Humani-T location.

As far as Reynolds is concerned, there’s only one thing that matters.

“Hurry up, get the crane off of there, would ya?” he said.