(WFLA) — Homeowners in a Florida neighborhood are on edge as a huge washout with a drop of about 45 feet is creeping closer to their homes.
People who live in the Saddlebrook neighborhood in DeLand told WESH that their backyards are dropping away and it is getting worse every day.
“I am petrified obviously for my property, my family. I’ve got four kids,” resident Tabitha Ruge told the news station.
The washout continues to grow as it slowly eats up the land and is inching closer to homes.
“My husband has measured it. It was about 70 feet from our property, we’ve lost. We’re about 25 feet from the edge of the erosion now,” Ruge said.
The Ruges told WESH that the entire concrete drainage system collapsed in 2021. Pipes and tubing went down along with trees.
“Every time we hit the rainy season, we’re wondering how much more we’re going to lose of our HOA property but getting closer and closer to ours,” Ruge said.
WESH reported that the Homeowners Association for Saddlebrook filed a lawsuit against the developer of the community in February 2020, citing negligent and deficient construction.
However, the case was dismissed in November 2022 following an out-of-court settlement.
A spokesman for the HOA told WESH that the board has engaged an engineer and is seeking vendors to make repairs.
Ruge said the HOA hasn’t put up signs warning visitors about the washout.
“I’ve put warnings out on our Facebook page just because I’m petrified a kid is going to come running through here or God forbid a dog takes off and somebody goes racing after them. You can’t see that that’s a drop-off,” Ruge said.
A spokesman for the city of DeLand told WESH that they are aware of the issue and are in contact with the HOA board.