An environmental nightmare. A safety hazard. An eyesore. All three terms have been used to describe the auto salvage yards that have sprouted like weeds along Dowdy Ferry Road in southern Dallas County.
Wednesday, for the second time this year, Dallas County authorities swept down to shut many of them down.
It was quite the show of force -- agents from the Dallas County Fire Marshal's office, the Sheriff's office, Auto Theft, and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. A day-long raid of the salvage yards along Dowdy Ferry Road took place, checking for non-compliance and stolen vehicles.
WFAA watched them remove two vehicles in particular. It's the second time this year Dallas County Fire Marshal Robert De Los Santos he has padlocked salvage yards for not complying with county laws. The first time was last January. The yards were all back open two weeks later. That became the subject of a recent WFAA investigation.
WFAA exposed hundreds of acres of unsightly and hazardous salvage yards, multiplying, polluting, spoiling the pristine countryside.
And we asked why the Dallas County Civil District allowed the salvage yards to re-open after doing little to come into compliance. Now just a few weeks after our investigation aired, the Fire Marshal is back.
Despite Wednesday's raid, Dowdy Ferry Road resident John Cook remains skeptical. "It was an incredible show of force," said Cook. "But again, I'm reserved in wondering is this just a bigger dog and pony show as it was in January."
The operators of the yards being padlocked would not respond. A chief complaint from local residents is that the yards stack cars and don't comply with the law that requires solid fencing on all sides. The question to Marshal De Los Santos is, will the yards reopen if the fence and height restrictions are not met. "If they have not met those restrictions, no," said De Los Santos.
Note to county officials, WFAA and neighbors will be watching.