House falling into lake (Tx)

Miz_MJune 12, 2014

This is about an hour from me. Obviously, this could have been avoided, but I still feel bad for the homeowners.

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/25748196/luxury-home-will-soon-fall-into-north-texas-lake

Here is a link that might be useful: Lake House

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Annie Deighnaugh

Oh dear. I'd sure hate to be a neighbor, wondering how far back the cliff collapse will go.

I know in Cape Cod, if your house goes into the water, you are required to pay for clean up....

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Miz_M

Annie, I read somewhere that these homeowners will be required to pay, too.

I just can't fathom that the developer/contractor/etc built so close to the edge. Texas is known for shifting soil, and in areas not even near water.

I'm curious if something like this is an outright loss for the owners. I can only imagine what they were paying in insurance for this place (and I'm 100% sure crumbling into the lake isn't covered).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 8:52AM
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lyfia

Looks like their neighbors are fixing to loose half their yard too. Although soils tend to shift, that looks like more than soil shifting though.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Miz_M

Lyfia, we've been in a historic drought the past few years, and lake levels are awfully low. I wonder if that's a factor. (Besides building a home right on the edge of a cliff.)

I hope they interview any engineers involved with this, curious to hear their thoughts. What a waste of a home. So glad no one was hurt!

This post was edited by Miz_M on Thu, Jun 12, 14 at 9:43

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:42AM
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cloud_swift

This happened to a house near us when I was a kid. In that case, I heard that part of the problem was in the construction grading and drainage of the lots so that water flow undermined the cliff edge. The house had a back yard between it and the cliff edge but that whole chunk went.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:14AM
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joaniepoanie

This was on the national news last night. How awful for the homeowners. Hard to say what insurance will or won't cover...but I'd sure be tempted to sue the builder/architect.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 12:14PM
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madeyna

How horrible. I love how insurance covers just about nothing anymore

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:44PM
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Fun2BHere

When I read about this, the article said that the house was built 80 yards away from the cliff originally. That's almost a football field. Wouldn't you think that would be far enough away from the edge to be safe, normally?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 4:16PM
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Miz_M

Good question, Fun2BHere. It's iffy, here in Tx. Limestone can be very unpredictable, but I know of homes closer than 80 yards, and have had no issues in years.

We've had many earthquakes in N Texas due to gas drilling/fracking ... one cracked my foundation and caused a huge sinkhole in my back yard. It may be a factor in this case, I don't know.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:29PM
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lyfia

Miz_M I was wondering if fracking and earthquakes could be an issue with the limestone when I saw it on the news this morning, but didn't hear any details. Since limestone is pretty brittle around central Texas at least.

You got a sink hole in your yard from it. That really sucks too.

I'm worried about fracking in our area too, but more from a ground water perspective as we are more of a plain than West Austin and not so much limestone like the house mentioned here reminded me of the Edwards Plateau.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 5:52PM
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Miz_M

Oh, Lyfia. It's been such a nightmare. They bought 7 acres behind us, and have fracked twice now. We have a compressor station and 12 huge tanks ... with semis coming in 24/7.

I could write a book here. It's ruined our peace of mind, and enjoying our property. We'll have to move. :-(

I worry most about the water issues. The gas companies run this state (and many others). While enduring this historic drought, they're allowed to use over 5 million gallons PER WELL. Water that becomes too toxic to reuse. It's out of the table forever.

Sigh.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Fun2BHere

Miz M, you are living a nightmare. I'm so sorry. I have someone repairing all of the cracks in my stucco exterior right now, not from fracking, but from years of earthquakes.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:20PM
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Miz_M

Ahh, Fun2BHere, I'm sorry you're having to do that, too. I remember one night, I was sitting up in bed reading, and my bed starting moving. The headboard was hitting the wall! It was from an earthquake all the way in Oklahoma.

The earthquakes are actually being caused by injection wells, the industry has to get rid of toxic waste from drilling, and they use a high powered method to inject it into underground tanks ... then have the gall to say they aren't causing them. Funny, though, when they stop injecting, the earthquakes stop. Just coincidence, I guess. ;-)

So, the fracking near my house, plus earthquakes, are what caused our cracks (inside tile, too), and sinkholes.

Sorry, I ramble, it's just so frustrating!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 8:21AM
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oakleyok

Our state has more earthquakes than California. Due to fracking which is the reason for injection wells. We're also a big oil state too, and some of the companies bring a lot of money here, so you can imagine how heated the topic gets. Of course the oil companies and those who receive checks say they aren't causing it. Riiiight.

All I know is an earthquake woke me from my deep sleep and made me run to the living room like a crazy woman. lol

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 10:33AM
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forboystoo

Just heard they will starting the house on fire soon...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.newsnet5.com/video/live-video

This post was edited by forboystoo on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 12:01

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Fun2BHere

The first earthquake I ever experienced was in St. Louis, Missouri. I think every state has earthquakes at some level, but clearly fracking is to blame, IMHO, for the increasing frequency of temblors in Oklahoma, Texas and elsewhere.

In California, earthquakes are just a feature of life, much as is the foundation settlement from high clay content soil experienced in much of North Texas. I lived in Burbank during the Northridge quake, but thankfully wasn't at home because pretty much anything breakable was broken. We had to use shovels and buckets to clear away the rubble inside my apartment.

That's sad that they have to burn that dangling house down, but I guess that's safer than letting it fall into the lake.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 11:48AM
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forboystoo

Just lighting now.
It's a shame that nothing could be salvaged.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.newsnet5.com/video/live-video

This post was edited by forboystoo on Fri, Jun 13, 14 at 12:48

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:47PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I would have thought they would remove as much as possible from that house, but all the beautiful exterior light fixtures and those awesome glass and iron doors were left on it to burn. That is a waste that those things that could be salvaged for reuse were not even if they were donated.
Such a shame to have to do that to such a beautiful home.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 12:51PM
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Fun2BHere

What a waste! I feel sorry for the homeowners. Thanks for the link, Forboystoo.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Miz_M

Thanks for the links and comments, all! I agree, what a waste of what seems like many salvageable items.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Fun2BHere

Here's a link to the owner talking about the situation.

Here is a link that might be useful: House Owner

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Fun2BHere

Did you see that huge crack leading away from the burning house towards the house next door? I looks like another huge section of that cliff will give way at some point.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:20PM
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forboystoo

Yeah~ I wouldn't feel so good if I was that neighbor..

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 2:35PM
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pesky1

Not to be political, but Im really glad I live in a state with strong land use laws. In order for someone to build in certain areas, theyd need a variance for the local buiding or zoning, and when they get that, theyre essentially letting everyone off the hook for liability. Losses are on them, if they can even get insurance for certain things.

If it can be shown the damage was due to a natural resource failing, its possible FEMA might pay, but I doubt that will be the case here.

Salvage may have been impossible due to potential structural failure.

And dont get me started on fracking...Im a Natural Resources regulator in one of the greenest states!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Elraes Miller

My mom lived across the street from a dozen homes built on fill. They all started sliding and she had a major crack across the floor of her house. All affected went to court against the builder. It took 5 years to resolve. I don't know if engineers were involved in the suit. But they did mention this house was approved by engineers for adequate building on the land structure.

Am I imagining that the owners said they had not moved in yet? Most of the rooms seen were empty of anything.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 5:22AM
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anniecat

I believe the house was condemned 1 year ago when the crack in the cliff was noticed. However, the owners moved out just 3 weeks ago when an engineer advised of the imminent danger.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:31AM
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msrose

They said they bought the house in 2012 and the inspector and geologist said it was stable. It just doesn't seem right that they bought the house based on a professional's opinion and only two years later, the house is gone.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 10:44AM
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lazy_gardens

The reservoir sides are limestone ... it was inevitable that damming that canyon woul make water would soak into the rock, dissolve it, waterlog it and destabilize that area.

Then the water levels go down and the softened and dissolved areas develop cracks and start falling off the cliff.

Really STUPID to allow houses to be built there.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:18AM
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kswl2

The amazing bit is that this disaster was 100% preventable. This situation is a culmination of incompetence, greed and sheer stupidity. As lazy gardens points out above, it was stupid to allow houses to be built there. How dimb or lazy are those local government officials? How moronic could the " inspector and geologist" be who said the house was safe three years ago?

And how greedy and stupid are local government officials to allow frakking, and will the rest of the country have to bail out the poor homeowners whose properties are ruined by this invasive process?

Preventable, preventable, preventable. I guess dumb really is forever.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 11:48AM
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camlan

About salvaging parts of the house--while I agree that would be the best thing to do, perhaps the cliff is so unstable that the authorities didn't want anyone in or on the house, for fear that it might fall into the lake while they were working on it?

Sort of like how, after an earthquake, they won't let people back into condemned houses to retrieve their personal belongings--the risk of injury to people is simply too great.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:09PM
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pesky1

Why would they have had an inspector and a geologist check out the property prior to purchase? If the cliff was 80 feet from the house initially, why even consider a geologist? Who'd consider that initially? Maybe if they started to get cracks in the walls, but not pre-purchase. I've heard of just far too many landslide issues where the owners never had that inspection done prior to purchase.

The news reports in the link said the owner just walked up to the house and made an offer on the place. Also said that the insurance co denied the land movement claim so they were going to make another claim based on fire damage. Oh yeah, like THAT claim would be paid!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 12:43PM
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texanjana

Pesky-I thought the same thing when I heard on the news tonight that they are now submitting a fire loss claim to the insurance company. Seriously???

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:12PM
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sjhockeyfan325

I wondered if the fire had been "Pre-approved" by the insurance co.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 8:20PM
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