After nearly a year, cleanup work begins at site of Harrisonburg explosion

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Almost a year later, crews are at work in Harrisonburg cleaning up what is left of the shopping center on Miller Circle after a natural gas explosion.

Many stores were leveled after the Oct. 17 explosions, and for months nearby businesses and homes have watched the destruction sit in what was a group of shops.

Mike Parks, the spokesperson for the City of Harrisonburg, says part of the delay in cleaning up was what the work insurance companies and other parties needed to do in order to investigate what happened.

“Ultimately it’s a private property owner, there was nothing we could do to force them to clean the site earlier, and with potential litigation and investigations going on there was nothing that we could do until the site was clear and all evidence had been removed from the scene,” Parks said.

Parks says the city made it clear to the property owner they wanted the site cleared as soon as legally possible.

He says in mid-August the site was released from investigation and he was informed the property owner was moving forward on obtaining a company to clear the site.

The city is in talks with the owner of the plaza on the cleanup, but there is no timeline of when it will be done. Parks says the city would like to see the shopping center rebuild but there is no word yet on if that will happen.

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