Hard Rock victim recovery pushed to August

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 3:09 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A New Orleans civil court judge says he will visit the Hard Rock collapse site next week to monitor progress on the long running demolition process.

He presided over a hearing where attorneys for the developers blamed rain delays and Wi-Fi problems for continued holdups.

For almost 10 months now the Hard Rock collapse site has loomed as an eyesore over Canal Street, and we learn more about continued delays.

"I thought the original schedule was ambitious and now it's behind that schedule given the weather conditions," said civil engineer, Nick Cammarata, P.E.

Building owners hoped to get the remains of Quinyon Wimberly and Jose Arreola, out by this month. Due to heavy rains they told a judge involved in the demolition process, that hasn't happened.

“Wet surfaces are just more difficult especially when they’re mixed with debris and dust, and all the remnant materials that are on the site,” said Cammarata.

Attorneys for the developers also say they have also had problems with the Wi-Fi needed to control robots which are being used extensively to try and get to the remains of the two victims.

“If they are working off of a Wi-Fi system we have interference with our cell phone so it’s possible the same would happen here with the robotics,” said Cammarata.

The owners' attorney says they have now brought in new robotics and they say the demolition pace has picked up again. They now hope to get the remains of the two victims removed next week.

Judge Kern Reese says he will visit the demolition site on Tuesday, observing work crews from the parking garage at the New Orleans athletic club next-door.

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