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Vacant Building Blamed For Cockeysville Flooding Finally Torn Down

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Gigi Barnett anchors the Weekend Morning Edition with Meteorologist...
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COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Construction crews take down one of Baltimore County’s abandoned buildings. The vacant distillery was causing widespread flooding.

As Gigi Barnett explains, businesses nearby lobbied for years to tear it down.

Last October when a piece of wall fell from an old distillery company on York Road, neighbors and businesses waited for the country to swoop in and knock the rest of it down.

Demolition day came this weekend.

“I’m kind of sad to see it go. I mean, it’s a piece of old Cockeysville. I didn’t grow up here but I’ve been talking with some people who had and they’re kind of sad to see it go,” said Jenny Schaefer.

But for store owners nearby, they’ve waited to see demolition crews on the Cockeysville site for a long time. A previous owner of the distillery illegally filled in the Beaver Run Dam behind the building and for years, strong rains would cause massive flooding.

“So now with this being down, it will create a heavy lake over there for us if we get a heavy rain,” said Michael O’Shea. “Glad to see it go.”

So the county got a $3 million grant from FEMA to get rid of the distillery and make sure the flooding doesn’t happen again. But first, county leaders had to buy the 65-year-old building at more than $450,000.

“This is decades of damage that we’re curing in a very short period of time,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The bulldozing brought out neighbors with cameras and lawn chairs, looking for a good spot to see each brick come down.

“It’s a good stress relief to see something big get demolished,” said Mark McNulty.

The county says once this demolition is complete, it will restore the land to its natural state so that when a heavy rain comes, businesses won’t be flooded out.

The county says some of the $3 million demolition money will also be used to buy and restore other businesses in the Beaver Dam flood zone.

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