Public Works: "We'll take care of that" - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Public Works: "We'll take care of that"

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Monday's rainfall was a reminder of what Glenwood residents dealt with two weeks ago, when torrential rain caused a water main break and landslide.

Yards are still caked in mud, leaving residents anxious for answers.

"It's very disturbing to look on this side of my house and see all this gravel and mud," says Roberta Abernathy.

Roberta Abernathy hasn't set foot in her back yard since a landslide flooded it two weeks ago.

Monday's steady rainfall only made things worse.

Nine other properties on Glenwood Parkway were damaged in the slide.

Chattanooga Public Works Director Lee Norris says illegal dumping decades ago left the soil unstable.

"You have the good solid soil; then you have this loose stuff put on top," Norris says. "The water eventually caused a slope crack right there, and it slid off the top of the hill."

But Norris says it's hard to tell if the shift or a water main break initiated the slide.

He says Tennessee American Water is redirecting the repaired main, while the city works to find a company to survey the ridge and start building the hill back up.

If it isn't addressed, Norris says, "Eventually Shallowford Road would fall off into the ravine. That's what would happen."

But Norris says it won't come to that. He says once a plan is in place, the city can begin repairing Roberta Abernathy's property.

"We'll take care of that," Norris says. "We'll try to restore their property to its original condition, probably better."

"Only Jesus knows when it's going to happen," says Abernathy.

The city is asking Abernathy and her neighbors to sign work agreements to allow them to make repairs, but Abernathy says she needs details first.

"Just not really feeling comfortable signing off on it right now, because I need some guarantee this won't happen again," she says.

Norris calls the slide unusual, and says the city has dealt with several run-off related issues this year because of all the rain.

He says residents and drivers are safe, but time is of the essence.

No time table for repair has been set.

The city must first hire a contractor to clear and survey the ground.


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