Erosion on Spanish Fort bluff has been an ongoing problem for years. But Tuesday’s historic rainfall has brought the problem to a head with nearly devastating consequences.
What used to be the backyard of Larry and Linda Kessler is now a vast hole that nearly swallows their home.
“Last night we lost about forty feet of depth and twenty feet of backyard,” Larry Kessler told us.
You’ll now find most of the Kessler’s backyard blocking the eastbound lanes of the bypass below.
“I never expected it to be like this, we always feared that it would and that our house would end up at the bottom of the bluff,” Kessler said. ” As you can see now it’s probably about three feet from part of the house going off the edge of the bluff.”
ONGOING DISPUTE WITH THE CITY OF SPANISH FORT
Kessler says poor drainage down a culvert is responsible for the devastation. The family shared a video of the water roaring down that gully during Tuesday’s downpours. Kessler has been in a fight with the city the past several years to fix the problem and recently they won a lawsuit to get that fix. The work was set to begin in about a week. But with the new scale of the devastation, Kessler is unsure if anything can save his home.
“I don’t know,” Kessler exclaimed. “I know that it would be hard for me to move back in this house unless some engineers can guarantee me it is going to be safe after it’s fixed.”
Kessler told us he hopes the city takes responsibility and moves forward with a fix.
“If they’re going to step up to the plate or if they’re going to continue to deny and say it’s not their problem, I really don’t know,” Kessler said.
FOX10 News spoke with Spanish Fort mayor Mike McMillan on the phone Tuesday. He told us engineers and the construction supervisor checked out the new damage. They’re supposed to reassess the situation and get back with the city. We’ll follow up on that to see what happens.