Reporting Bud Gillett
CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Most of us welcome the rain, but it makes for anxiety for homeowners in Carrollton.
They live in the 1300 block of Barclay Drive and erosion from Dudley Branch Creek is cutting into their back yards and they feel their homes will slide away.
They also say the city won’t help, so now they are suing in Federal Court.
“It (the retaining wall) was poorly engineered to begin with and not properly maintained,” says Laura Brewer.
Four Barclay Drive families are now in Federal Court with a lawsuit against the city of Carrollton, which has repeatedly told them the city is not responsible for erosion on private property. “But that’s really not the issue,” said Brewer. “The issue is the slope that was created when this wall was put into place is too steep.”
Brewer’s family has emptied their swimming pool because they fear the added weight will only hasten a landslide. Still, erosion seems to be nibbling at the pool’s edge. Brewer ruefully observes, “Now the dogs come out here to take care of their business, but that’s about all that happens.”
The nightmare for Brewer and her neighbors has been going on since 2009.
When CBS 11 News first met the neighboring Hamrla family two years ago they showed us pictures of how swollen waters swallowed up their yard. Petra Hamrla remembers what it looked like when they first moved in in 2007.
“It was like, I would say, 6-feet tall and it had fence.,” says Petra Hamrla. She worries the shifting land may rip open the home’s natural gas line. “It’s drastic and it’s scary and you don’t know what the next rain is going to bring because we have gas lines. What if the rains take our homes and the pipes break and there’s an explosion?”
Another worry for the Hamrlas and other families: their children’s safety.
Next door neighbor Dalia Chavarria agrees. “I have a four-year-old daughter, and she rolls down from the hill, always gets hurt. Her face or the knees.”
The homeowners complain that the Carrollton city attorney isn’t advising the council on the true facts of the case. But the city attorney tells me his office won’t comment on pending litigation.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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