Edmond elderly woman living on the edge
EDMOND, Okla. — Whenever it rains, 80-year-old Earlene Smith gets nervous.
“I just feel like my house is going to slip away,” she said.
Coffee Creek runs right behind Smith’s home on Sunnybrook Dr. in Edmond.
She showed us the four-foot space from the foundation of her home to the edge of a 35-foot drop.
Smith said she’s tried to get permission from the City of Edmond to fix it for almost a decade.
She said officials have been less than helpful.
“I have never been treated so rudely in my life, as I have been treated down there,” Smith said.
The cost to stop the erosion is $40,000, which she doesn’t mind paying; she just needs approval from the city to start the project.
Smith believes the city hasn’t granted approval because once her problem is fixed, it will force the water from the creek to her neighbor’s backyard, giving them the same problem.
“If there is a home or business that has inside damage like flooding, those are higher on the priority list than erosion,” Ashleigh Clark said, spokesperson for the City of Edmond.
Officials said, in addition to Smith’s home not being on that priority list, her plan would have to not affect neighbors in order to be approved.
“The city’s engineer will have to take a look at that plan to make sure whatever they have planned don’t affect her neighbors,” Clark said.
“I signed an easement when I bought the house. Says that anything done to the property has to have approval if it involves the creek,” she said.
Smith has an attorney but no interest in suing.
She says, “I’m 80 years old, they can carry on a lawsuit for years and my house can’t stand that. Something has to be done right away to protect this property.”