Water from Heavy Rains Eroding Back Yards in South Arlington

Homeowners ask City Hall for help

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Homeowners in a South Arlington neighborhood blame the city for flooding that is slowly eroding their backyards, but the city says it’s private property and the owners’ responsibility.

"It's called the Grand Canyon of Misty Creek,” said Charlie Kilpatrick, a longtime resident of the Estates Above Wimbleton.

When Kilpatrick moved into his home in 2004, the creek behind his house was a tiny trickle of water.

But now when it rains, it turns into a raging river.

And it's slowly eroding his and his neighbors' yards.

"It's gone from four-feet wide to about 16-feet wide,” he said.

Kilpatrick and his neighbors blame massive development along South Cooper Street dating back to the 1980s -- and the city for not coming up with a plan for all the stormwater.

Greg Smith lives several blocks downstream near a lake that sometimes overflows.

"His backyard is in my backyard. I'd be glad to give it back,” Smith said about Kilpatrick and his upstream neighbors. "The city, it doesn't look like they're going to do anything."

They want the city to find a way to either re-route the water or at least build a wall to stop the erosion and keep their back yards safe.

A spokeswoman for the city, Susan Schrock, said the flooding doesn’t threaten homes.

"Currently, this section of Misty Creek does not fit the city's criteria for an erosion mitigation project because no homes there are at risk of flooding and no public infrastructure is at risk either,” the statement said. “The erosion is occurring on private property."

"I get really worrisome that I'm going to lose more of my back yard,” Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick spoke to the city council about the issue Tuesday and he and his neighbors plan to keep asking for help.

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