Ditch Erosion Causing Fence to Crumble

December 27, 2006 -- Posted at 6:35 p.m. CDT

JONESBOROK, AR -- Homeowners off Farm Creek Road are in one of the ten "problem" areas for flooding in Jonesboro, but for one homeowner it's not flooding that's causing problems.

The ditch located on his property is eroding... getting closer and closer to the edge of his fence.

"We had a real bad drainage problem when they started building the Southern Hills Mall and the water would come over and flood the whole back yard," said Steve Simons.

Because of the flooding problems, the ditch located on Simons' property was widened a couple years ago.  Now, in addition to a wider ditch, the fate of Simons' property is in question.

Eight years ago Simons spent $7,000 building a fence, now with each rain the erosion gets worse and soon he'll be watching his fence go down stream.

"It's just washed out so bad that the fence is falling down," said Simons.

Jonesboro Street Supervision Teddy Hooton said they could fix the problem, but fixing it could very likely lead to problems for others on Farm Creek Road.

"If we fix the erosion problem we'll have to put some stuff in the ditch to fill in the erosion which will reduce the size of the ditch.   That could cause potential flooding upstream," said Hooton.

Simons says another problem is the lack of upkeep from the city.  An easement for the ditch was in place years ago when the ditch was located further up in Simons' yard.

Until a new easement is put in place, the city and the landowner are stuck between a rock and a hard place, one trying to do what's best for everyone and another facing loss of property.

Hooton says the city is working on resolving this issue.

"We have engineers out of Newport on contract they're designing a detention pond upstream of this area," said Hooton.

For the residents of Farm Creek Road, there are two proposed detention ponds that would help prevent flooding and erosion.