Trashy yard sparks debate in Crosby neighborhood

CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- It's a sight some say they're tired of looking at.

"It's not good for the environment. It's not good for anybody," neighbor Benjamin Hernandez said.

Vickie Mitchell's family has owned their property on Washington Street for more than a century. When Hurricane Harvey hit, it changed the landscape completely and left her with eroded earth.

She says she called Harris County Flood Control multiple times to get assistance, but when they told her they couldn't help because of private property, she took matters into her own hands. She tried to plug the hole by using a Japanese technique.

"They use this trash-filled dump thing in Japan where the landscape erodes. They fill it with trash and then they cover it. Then in that way it packs it, so doesn't become a sinkhole," she explained.

From there, Mitchell says she covers the garbage with rocks and gravel. Eyewitness News was there Friday as a Precinct 3 deputy constable came out, as well as a lieutenant from the Environmental Division. It's the result of someone making an illegal dumping complaint this morning.

According to Precinct 3, officials found large amounts of solid waste as well as raw sewage waste being dumped into the flood control drainage ditch.

"I did what I had to do because at that time, with the hurricane and all of this stuff shifting and all the ground cracking, I didn't have the money or the resources to pay for everything," Mitchell continued.

Mitchell worries that without the trash, an animal or child would fall seven feet down into Jackson Bayou. She says her only request is for Harris County to help.

"Come out here and fix their ditch on the side of my fence and dig it out or carve it out, put concrete drainage," she said.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office has accepted illegal dumping and water pollution charges against Mitchell, which are both felonies. They do plan to take in account that she tried to get help and according to her, the county says it will now help get this fixed.

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