DELLWOOD, Mo. – Families in two Dellwood homes are expected to be evacuated Tuesday night. An MSD storm channel has been carrying their backyards away and now things are dangerous.
“Oh no it’s not safe, it’s not safe when you look back there it’s no safety,” said Melva Curtis, a neighbor of the two families.
If people in one home walked out of their sliding glass door, they’d drop about 6 to 8 feet. The problem has been getting only worse over the last four years.
“Over time, all the rain, the soil behind the improved channel has been failing,” said MSD spokesman Sean Hadley.
Heavy rains have washed the backyards underneath the storm channel and carried the soil away. Neighbors said MSD has tried about a half dozen repairs but the solutions have not solved the problem.
“Every time they come back, it sinks more,” said resident Glenda Ewing.
Ewing’s home is next door to the two homes which are losing their backyards. She said her lawn is softening up and holes are forming. She fears she’ll be the next victim.
“I hope they get something done, cause I’m worried too,” she said.
People who live a little farther away are concerned that kids in the neighborhood could be seriously injured if they fall into the hole.
“I want them to fix it now; like, yesterday,” said resident Terri Peeble.
MSD has taken responsibility and is moving the two families and their belongings to a temporary location and the utility pledged to do more if needed.
“In a situation like this, because it’s an MSD asset, we have to come in here, make this fix, and make it right, and that’s what we’re doing,” Hadley said. “One of the options is to possibly buy these two homes out if need be to get in here and address the situation at hand.”
The people who live in the two homes declined to be interviewed. One resident said his son has felt the home rumbling and shaking like an earthquake in the past few days.