Rowlett tornado survivors re-victimized by illegal dumping

Police in Rowlett are promising to crack down on illegal dumpers who are making life even more difficult for those trying to rebuild.

“It's the only home I've ever owned and it was just our home,” said homeowner Katy Raynes.

Others like Anita Harris had their lots cleared down to the foundation and construction crews under contract.

“My cautiously optimistic goal is to be back into the house before school starts at the end of summer,” said tornado survivor Harris.

But her timeline could be compromised. Harris says she recently checked on her lot and found someone else’s debris dumped on her cleared lot.

“Somebody I guess didn't want to haul it off, I don't know why,” said Harris.

And she’s not alone. Rowlett’s mayor says there have been a handful of tornado survivors reporting the same thing. Some have spent thousands of dollars cleaning up their property only to return and find new debris left behind.

“What happens is the owner that's actually been responsible and cleaned their property has now got illegal dumping on their property,” said Rowlett Police Chief Mike Brodnax.

Brodnax says no one has been caught in the act, but he suspects it’s the work of crews cutting corners.

“They're not having to go spend the money to go dump it in a landfill where they're supposed to being doing. So they're making more money and putting that burden back on the homeowner they're dumping on and the city of Rowlett,” said Brodnax.

The city of Rowlett says it has crews cleaning up in the city, so it and volunteers have stepped in to help. But soon the city’s role in the cleanup effort will come to an end.

Harris worries that those cheating the system right now will end up cheating survivors in the future.

“It's not their responsibly and they're going to have to draw a line in the sand, I'm assuming, some place and say I’m sorry we can’t pick  it up and then what are those poor people going to do,” said Harris.

 

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