Officials discuss blowing up eroding Lake Whitney cliff

Print
Email
|

by LAUREN ZAKALIK

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaalauren

WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Lake Whitney cliff collapse

View larger map

LAKE WHITNEY -- Take a walk on what was once luxury lakefront land on Lake Whitney, and you’ll now see it’s a danger zone.

A crack in the cliff - at some spots 11-feet wide - drops down nearly 100 feet to the lake.            

This fault line in the White Bluff subdivision in Hill County was the reason crews had to set a luxury house on fire last week. As the cliff fell into the lake, the house was falling off, too.

And if that wasn’t enough, buckle up, because there’s a chance crews may now use explosives to blow up the rest of the unstable cliff.

“It’s been surreal,” said local Realtor Tammy Weger. “You don’t ever think anything like that could happen in this area.”

Weger has sold property in the exclusive neighborhood for years, and she said the past few days have brought one unbelievable occurrence after the other.

“I think it’s very scary,” she said of the proposal to blow up the cliff, “but if they could bring a high-rise building down in Dallas without touching the building next to it, I think we could probably do it.”

Rob Webb, who owned the home that was intentionally set on fire, said the estimates for blowing up part of the cliff are around $150,000.

Stephen Reveile, who owns Heart of Texas demolition, might be the guy to do it, if that’s the avenue the decision-makers choose to take. But there are so many questions still, including who pays for it if it happens, and — a big question — of whether the land below the cliff is a cave.

If it is, the equipment may be too heavy to drive on it, for fear it collapses.

But amid all the unknowns, there is one thing for sure: the fault line is only getting bigger, and the risk of this cliff falling into Lake Whitney is only getting larger, according to Reveile.

He brought in two explosive experts from Oklahoma Wednesday to help him assess the situation. He’ll meet with the affected homeowners, the Army Corps of Engineers, and White Bluff officials Thursday to discuss the scenarios.

Weger said she doesn’t believe the cliff hanging over Lake Whitney will keep people from coming to enjoy the lake this summer, but that’s what officials are scared of. They don’t want fun-seekers becoming thrill-seekers and boating over this way, while the unstable land looms overhead.

E-mail lzakalik@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|