Engineers Warn House May Slip Away in Rain

By Susy Solis
|  Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009  |  Updated 9:50 AM CDT
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Rainfall Threatens House Where Backyard Washed Away

NBCDFW.com

Engineers say more rainfall could cause a Dallas home to follow its backyard and wash away.

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Rainfall Threatens House Where Backyard Washed Away

Engineers say more rainfall could cause a Dallas home to follow its backyard and wash away.
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Engineers say more rainfall could cause a Dallas home to follow its backyard and wash away.

The October rains have sloughed away much of Terry and Patricia Palmer's backyard earlier this month. A shade tree now sits 20 feet below the home, and the retaining walls they once had have crumbled. The piers that hold up their house are now exposed.

"It's pretty scary for us," Patricia Palmer said. "It's a nightmare, because every time it rains, (there is) more a chance that the house could slide also."

The couple sought advice from engineers, who told them the outlook is not good.

"We've had one or two of the engineers say that it is a possibility that the house could go also," Patricia Palmer said.

The Palmers said they will have to move if their foundation falters, and they have no place to go.

Estimates to repair the damage range from $50,000 to $200,000 -- and the Palmers say they can't afford it.

The family said they are hoping to get help from the city of Dallas, but the forecast doesn't look good.

But Steve Parker, director of Flood Plain Management, said city engineers don't deal with residential problems. A city engineer surveyed the damage as a courtesy.

Parker directed the Palmers to the Dallas Housing Department, which said the family doesn't qualify for its home-repair programs.

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