Homeowners near Sam Rayburn Reservoir concerned over high water, eroding property

Homeowners near Sam Rayburn Reservoir concerned over high water, eroding property

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Erosion along the shoreline of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir is worrying lakeside property owners, as record high water levels cause chunks of land to drop off into the water.

For property owners along the northern shores, each rainstorm brings more concern.

“Here’s a pretty good picture of what I lost. All this right here,” Pete Buchman, who owns property on the shoreline, explained.

Buchman and neighbors have lost dozens of trees through erosion.

“It’s just like a jackhammer, eroding the soil,” Buchman added.

Judy Bennett thought to grab her phone during the last wind storm. When she stepped out on her back porch, closer to the shoreline than it has ever been, she found the bank has given way yet again.

(Source: Courtesy: Reporter Donna McCollum)

“High waters, the high wind, and when it gets up it erodes underneath the bank and it can’t support the weight of a tree and it goes down," Bennett said.

To some degree, the erosion is the cost of living lakeside. However, residents said it’s not caused entirely by mother nature.

“I think it’s time to reevaluate what their protocol is,” Bennett said.

Owners said the Army Corps of Engineers placed too many restrictions on their ability to protect their investments.

“Right now you just kinda wondering what can you do. Do you start something and try to help yourself and then find out you got a two or three thousand dollar fine and they make you take out what you’ve already done," said property owner Marvin Henderson.

Wednesday, a Corps spokesperson indicated all the dos and don’ts are on the agency’s website. A master plan was finalized and approved in 2017. It did little to ease the mostly retired homeowners’ anxiety.

(Source: Courtesy: Reporter Donna McCollum)

“We’re very concerned about our home falling into the lake," said Bennett.

Residents said they want to work with the Corps of Engineers in solving the problems; most remedies cost tens of thousands of dollars. The Corps spokesperson stated residents would need to coordinate with the lake office on any repairs or proposed work on government land.

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