Homeowners fear encroaching swamp - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Homeowners fear encroaching swamp


Homeowners in one East Texas neighborhood are worried about a situation that's starting to threaten some homes.

It's an unusual situation, as a swamp is expanding along Rayburn drive in Longview. Residents want something done about it, before the swamp swallows up their homes. Homeowners say the sinking swamp started out 40 years ago as a small pond.

"Years ago it was a pond maybe 30 feet wide. It has grown even more. Especially since this last rain we had. You can tell how high this water is
getting in this back yard," says Rayburn drive homeowner Willie R. Anderson.  But in the last month, they say the land has eroded fast, and the water line is creeping closer to their homes. 

The swamp now spans several hundred yards. "I've been concerned with it for a long time. I always thought it was a health threat. It's a sinkhole, and I'm afraid I'm going to wake up and somebody may find my whole home sunk under," says worried homeowner Betty Jones.
"Where I'm standing now, we have to step lightly or we start to sink down in this backyard," Anderson says.
Damage, like falling fences and trees, have occurred recently. Homeowners have contacted the city for help many times.
"The city's been contacted several times. They had a supervisor to come out and look at the property. No response," says Anderson.
 Adding to the problem is a drainage ditch off Rayburn drive that feeds into the swamp. "This has grown tremendously. It's taken down that fence, and taken down the trees," Jones says.
City officials say the land belongs to another property owner who they are trying to get in touch with.
"We all are taxpayers and we deserve to have things fixed," Anderson says.
 The swampy area is in an existing low-lying area near Rayburn drive. The city has had the water tested for contaminants, but no harmful levels of any contaminate have been found.
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