Homeowners concerned about erosion on property - WRBL

Homeowners concerned about erosion on property

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COLUMBUS, Ga. - Some local homeowners, concerned that their backyard is washing away, are trying to get the city to fix the problem. Homeowners Donald and Karin Nestor have lived in their home on Savannah Drive for more than 20 years, but it was just this year that they realized their property was eroding.

The couple learned as recently as January, that there was a much deeper problem in their backyard. Heavy rainfall, including one of the wettest Aprils in Georgia's history has eroded the bank and the Nestors think the city is responsible.

"Our big fear right now is losing our property. Two of my neighbors have lost their property over the last several years. One neighbor 2 doors down from me lost 21 feet of their embankment, completely gone," said Donald Nestor.

The problem started with a tree falling on a wall about 5 years ago. The tree cracked the wall and changed the water flow to run up on the Nestor's property.

"I would like to see them clean up the creek. Get that crater filled in with dirt. Remove the fence line. Remove all the debris out of the creek. Sandbag both sides of the walls so there's no more loss of landmass," said Nestor.

The city says they are doing what they legally can. Pat Biegler, Director of Public Works, says erosion is a natural process and the bed's of the creek behind the Nestor's home legally belong to them. The city has assumed responsibility for the wall that diverted the water flow and is fixing 25 to 30 feet of the Nestor's embankment.

"We would repair the erosion and take care of the trees that were eroded under the area that was impacted by the water flow with that wall," said Pat Biegler.

Biegler says it's the only thing the city can do. Any other work would not be legal because it's private property but the homeowners thing the city should fix the entire embankment.

"Hopefully one day, I can turn my house over to our daughter and don't have to worry about the barn and the property ending up in the creek," said Nestor.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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