Sinking drainage ditch sparks concerns

May 15, 2012 3:17:22 AM PDT
Concerned residents in Fort Bend County are keeping an eye on a drainage ditch that keeps sinking following this weekend's heavy rain.

It's happening in the River Forest subdivision. The considerable erosion has exposed a natural gas pipeline.

Usually, the drainage ditch that runs through the subdivision is straight, grassy and uneventful. But the part that now resembles a canyon, with its red earth revealed. It has spectators arriving from all around Richmond to snap a picture.

"It's pretty fun to come show all your friends and just seeing nature at work essentially," Rice student and River Forest subdivision Lindsey Witte said.

"You can't understand it until you see just how big it really is," area resident Andy Del Camp said.

Heavy rains early Saturday morning blew out a retaining wall and culvert that feeds the ditch into the Brazos River.

"We had a lot of water of course piled up here. We had like 12 inches of rain, but you just don't think it can cut a gash that quickly through here," area resident Mark Fisler said.

Witte was recording on her cell phone Saturday morning as the collapse continued.

An exposed natural gas line has some worried and the possibility that the neighborhood canal will continue to crumble. At least one homeowner lost a fence and part of his pasture.

"You just got to pray for no more rain, for the time being," Fisler said.

The Fort Bend County Flood Control District does have heavy equipment on site already and has started refilling part of the canal. However, there's no word yet on how they plan to stabilize that gas pipeline.


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