In June 2013, heavy rains led to a catastrophic flood in the Canadian province of Alberta, causing an estimated five billion Canadian dollars in property damage.

One of the hardest-hit areas was the town of High River, a suburb of Calgary.

In Beachwood Estates, a High River neighborhood full of million-dollar homes, floodwaters rose so high that residents had to abandon their properties, according to the Calgary Herald.

Photographer Seph Lawless documented the homes before they were sold or demolished earlier in 2017. He captured them, abandoned and eerie, awaiting their final fate.

Beachwood Estates was once a thriving community full of pricey homes tucked among more modest ones.

Now the homes sit empty and abandoned, virtually untouched for four years.

As part of a relocation platform, the homes were bought by the Alberta state government, according to the Calgary Herald.

Source: Calgary Herald

Of the 94 properties that were purchased by the state, 54 were or will be demolished, and 26 were offered up for sale.

The fate of another 14 is still up in the air.

The cost of the relocation program for the community totaled 92.9 million Canadian dollars ($ 69 million).

Source: Calgary Herald

The remaining homes sat empty until early 2017, when they were auctioned off by the Alberta government to recoup some losses.

The auction for the homes started at 50 Canadian dollars ($ 37).

Eleven of the homes hit the hammer below the 100,000 Canadian dollars ($ 74,338) mark, but a few sold for around double that.

The most expensive sold for 262,500 Canadian dollars ($ 195,138). The property values for many of the homes verged near one million Canadian dollars ($ 743,386) before the flood.

The auction came with a huge catch, however.

In addition to rehabilitating the abandoned houses, buyers must also move them.

After the flood, it was found that the homes were built on a flood plain of the nearby Highwood River.

Though numerous projects have been undertaken since the devastating floods, it still isn’t completely safe to live on the flood plain, city officials say.

Source: Calgary Herald

Moving a house is a daunting prospect.

The homes will cost tens of thousands of Canadian dollars to move, in a conservative estimate.

Since the homes are fairly large, they must first be taken apart and then moved piece by piece.

This necessitates the removal of the roof as well.

Buyers had 160 days to move their new houses, which means that the structures are now spread out across the country.

The local government is now in the process of returning the land to its natural state.

That includes removing utilities and filling in basements.

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