Homeowners face Monday deadline after explosion

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Investigators continue to sift through the debris from Saturday's deadly explosion in Richmond Hill on the south side of Indianapolis. Ffamilies who suffered damage to their homes now face a Monday deadline to board up those homes. 

We're also learning that the original damage estimate of $3.6-million could go higher as homeowners discover more damage than first thought. 

Police cars continue guarding the entrance to the subdivision as investigators and contractors working inside. That's been the scene at Richmond Hill since the weekend explosion, and it will continue this way for some time.

Now that the investigation is in recovery mode, contractors are able to do the work of boarding up and making what repairs they can make to dozens of homes damaged in the explosion. The Department of Code Enforcement says it is pushing for a Monday deadline to secure the homes and allow homeowners to retrieve personal items. But after that, they will have to take a closer look at each property to figure out a more long term plan.

One contractor who spent the past few days working on two of the damaged homes discussed about how long the "long term" could be.  Chip McCormick works for Paul Davis Restoration. "It depends on damage," he said. "Could be anywhere from a couple weeks to a year, depending on getting estimates back and going through the process."Davis said houses he looked at sustained different damage. Some had drywall cracks and windows damaged, while others will have to come completely down.

"We've done tornadoes and floods," he said, "but the scope of this, to the size, is pretty alarming."

Each contractor has to have credentials to get into the neighborhood, something that's done at the new operations center at Smock Golf course, just south of the neighborhood. Code Enforcement officials hope that will help expedite the process.

For those who are back in their homes, and who've already been through a traumatic ordeal, it is a difficult process to get used to.

For homeowners, this is now part of their lives, and it will be for some time. Some are still trying to get back into their homes to get whatever personal belongings they can retrieve.