Farmers Branch residents worried as erosion eats away at backyards

Delays are worrying some Farmers Branch townhome owners who are watching erosion take their backyards.

They are afraid if the work is not finished quickly their homes could be in danger. 

Sabara Garth is one of four property owners in the Brookhaven Village Townhome Community who have, since late 2020, watched their backyards disappear.

During the heavy downpour, I saw, felt and heard huge chunks of my backyard literally fall off," she recalled. "Every time it rained, we lost ground and it was a very noticeable difference."

Garth fears their townhomes might be next unless there is a major undertaking to remedy erosion taking place with the sloped drainage canal behind them.

"The city has put forward its full attention and helping with this issue," said Farmers Branch Spokesperson Sharon Logan. "Again, the city understands the residents’ concerns."

The city says it approved $300,000 in emergency funding to get this work started several months ago. A look from SKY 4 shows the progress and work underway to shore up and replace the lost ground. Logan says the project is a priority for the city.

In May, Garth says she voluntarily evacuated her home after a storm brought torrential rains. She has since returned.

Garth adds there have been differences of opinion between the city and homeowners about the scope and timing of the work, which she says began days before a predicted storm.

"They literally took away the concrete barrier and all that was left was dirt," she said. "Which every time it rained, the dirt was literally washed and carried away and it kept eroding horizontally and vertically."

Garth has documented the erosion in photographs.

"The fall rains, then of course in the winter, we had the additional cold weather and then the rains following in the spring have kind of slowed the process down a little bit, but they’re working full-time," Logan said. "We’ve got engineers and contractors out here making sure the integrity of this channel is retained and that it’s fully operational as quick as possible."

The city estimates in 20 days the work will reach completion. 

Garth is hopeful but remains a little anxious.

"It’s my home," she said. "I’ve had this home for 20 years, so it’s really scary."