Ground giving way beneath homes

By Anna Carrera

Published 06/10 2014 04:37PM

Updated 06/10 2014 08:04PM

URBANA -- Along the Boneyard Creek, homes are falling apart. People who live there say the water underneath is to blame. They say it's been a problem for years, so something needs to be done as soon as possible. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera finds out what kind of issues they're having.

Homes are cracking and, with time, it's only going to get worse.

"The house is just slowly coming apart."

It's the same story for all the properties Darrel Foste owns around Urbana. He says, because of erosion, the ground is giving gout underneath.

"There was a house here that just broke apart. It was a concrete block house."

Foste says they've fallen victim to the Boneyard's pull.

"When I bought property on the north side, it was going south toward the Boneyard Creek. Then, I've got property on the south side and it was going north to the Boneyard Creek."

You can see where the land slopes down to the water. Because of that, he says these cracks are getting worse. Gaps in the ground are wide enough for Foste to put his hand inside.

Damage to the building is pretty easy to spot, especially with a special instrument which shows how far the house is splitting.

"That's even moved since then because the cross-hairs are off-center."

Foste first noticed this a long time ago. He tried to do what he could.

"I fixed them up and they're breaking apart again, so it's a never-ending process."

He says there's still hope for the land, but it needs some special care.

"This could all be rebuilt with the footings below the level of the Boneyard Creek. Then you could build it."

So, that's where he's stuck. He's not in a position to foot the bill, but he's still optimistic that something good can come from these homes. He just hopes their historic value doesn't get washed away.

Foste is salvaging what he can from the homes and taking it to PACA where they can get new life. He says he knows the city is tight on resources, but hopes maybe a developer can transform the land into something new.

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