Jefferson County neighborhood dealing with erosion from storms

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A homeowner in Jefferson County lost 20 feet of his backyard during the most recent heavy rainfall, and now his back porch is very close to a ledge overlooking a creek.

Tony Lucia, the homeowner, says his yard extended all the way out to cover his gas line until last week’s heavy rainfall.

The creek flooded and the force of the rushing water against the bottom of the embankment caused everything on top to come crashing into the creek.

Now, Lucia is facing an uphill battle. He has to try to keep his yard, his trees and his home from crashing down into the creek below.

“It’s an ongoing problem and it’s escalating,” Lucia said. “It’s not going away, but I’m going to have to.”

He doesn’t want to leave his home. He and his wife have lived in the home for 14 years. When they first moved there, the creek was much smaller.

“They’ve added a whole neighborhood up above us, up this hill, and that’s added that much more flow,” Lucia said. “And then they opened it up downstream, which made the flow that much quicker. It’s more energy.”

The house next door lost its battle with erosion. The deck is starting to fall over the ledge and the man who rented it moved out.

Down the hill from Lucia’s house, the ground just gave way.

The gas line used to be completely covered. Now, it’s out in the open.

Lucia says he has contacted Jefferson County, along with several other agencies, about the erosion problem. So far, nothing has been done.

“I could see that it was eventually going to be a big problem, and I was trying to get them to do something before it got this large,” Lucia said.

And that never happened. Now, when he looks at what his backyard has become, he’s worried about the future.

“The frustration that knowing no matter what, every day you’re getting closer to having to move and everything that you’ve put into your property is for nothing,” he said.

Lucia hopes that won’t be the case, but after years of trying to get some help, he’s not too optimistic.

CBS42 has reached out to the Jefferson County Commissioner in charge of the area, but we haven’t heard back yet.

CBS42 is still working to get some answers for Lucia and the rest of the neighbors who love on the street.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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