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Flooding, mud slide woes continue to plague Fox Run

Fox Run subdivision resident Gary Bishop is tired of mud covering his yard each time it rains.

Bishop addressed the FMPC at its Thursday, Aug. 5, meeting following a weekend that brought two-and-a-half inches of rain to the mud-plagued community.

The July 31 episode was a near carbon copy of events that took place in the subdivision June 21 when more than 6-inches of rain fell on the area in a short span of time causing massive mud flows and clogging of drainage pipes.

“We had another rain event,” Bishop told the commissioners during the FMPC public forum. “We had another mud flow, a very large mud flow again into the street. … We had a unique twist this time. We had a pickup truck that got a bed-full of mud.”

Bishop went on to say that the water flow from the top of the subdivision development again cascaded down from Brochardt Boulevard between two houses that had previously had a large gully cut out of the landscape from the force of the water (see farragutpress July 8 issue).

Bishop said that this time the flow of water and debris came over his neighbor’s retaining wall and filled his truck bed with mud and silt.

Bishop said the problem remains the same; that the water gains speed from the top of the freshly cleared hill and quickly fills drainage pipes with debris causing the water to seek another path and thus cutting swaths through the landscape.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said that a new plan was in the process of being implemented to remedy the situation and “redirect some of the water that is causing the problem.”

Smith added, “We went out (Aug. 2) and reviewed some of the damages that have occurred and some of the blow-outs. If you will recall there were about two-and-three-quarter inches of rain on (July 31), which is certainly no excuse for any kind of erosion problem.”

Smith added that the town issued “stop work orders” on what he described as “three of the offending lots.”

The lots, according to Smith, were released the next day after workers “installed silt fencing correctly and do a little bit of diversion to try and stop the problem.”

Smith added that the town staff just wanted the developer, Wallace McClure, to get done with those lots and get the area stabilized.

Bishop said that “our inclination, as a group of neighbors up there, was not so much an attorney at this point,” but added that this was something that was starting to be discussed.

“We feel like there’s an enormous amount of erosion coming off the top of this hill; secondly, I noticed coming in tonight that there is a lot on Brochardt that has been totally stripped of vegetation and there are not silt fences up anywhere.”

Smith said that the town was attempting to meet with the developer on Friday, Aug. 6, but that completion of a list of remedies consisting of eight projects presented to McClure in a letter from the town dated July 20 set a deadline of Friday, Aug. 13, for completion.

The letter stated that “failure to meet this deadline will result in withholding of building permits and/or inspections in Fox Run Unit 11.”

FMPC chairman Bob Hill said, “It seems to me that somehow the developer lacks the urgency that the residents up there have to get this fixed. I’m not sure what’s happening to make it any better.”

Smith added that recent stop work orders (Smith estimated 11 issued in the last three weeks), and the pending withholding of building permits and inspections would get the “sense of urgency” message across.

Hill said that the town, if it were in its power, should order a “stand down” similar to the Department of Energy corrective procedures.

Hill said that the town should require a stand down and require all resources at the Fox Run site be put into resolving this situation.

Smith added that the town is “cracking the whip” and that “it just takes a little longer to crack that whip.”

Commissioner Fred Jones added that “we’ll get through this current situation, hopefully. I know the good people are really suffering through it. I do sincerely believe that the town staff and everybody is trying to work a solution there.”

Jones recommended that the town staff do a “lessons learned” exercise from this event.


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