People in Racine County Still Dealing with Property Erosion
People on Racine County are fighting hard not to lose their homes.
Waves and heavy rain continue to quickly wash away people's land in Mount Pleasant and a meeting Tuesday night they learned help to fix it is a long way off.
People who came to the meeting learned the situation will get worse before it gets better. And right now the county doesn't have a permanent solution. So For now homeowners will have to fix it themselves.
In just 12 weeks - erosion has washed away about 12 feet of the bluffs in Mount Pleasant and Caledonia.
Tonnie Vanputten says one day the tree in his front yard had fallen into Lake Michigan.
"The main concern is that they come up with a solution and help us out," says Tonnie Vanputten.
State and local leaders say there isn't enough damage to get emergency funding.
They've been applying for grants -to protect the shore permanently.
However there's no guarantee they'll get the money and the application process takes a lot of time.
"That rate of erosion is a unique set of circumstances that needs a rapid solution." Says Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave.
As a quick fix - homeowners can put sandbags or large rocks at the bottom of the bluff to try and stop the water.
Without having to get a permit. They have to pay for the construction out of pocket. Or risk losing more land.
"If you've got the money you can fix it but I'm out of that I can't fix it by myself. I need a lot of help," says Tonnie Vanputten.
Many say - they don't have the money. And property values are going down. But - village leaders say this meeting is only the first step.
"We can't let this hit public utilities and we will work with property owners to stop their erosion," says Delagrave.
People at the meeting asked whether any tax incentives were available or if Racine County could put together a list of companies that could do the construction. All of those are possibilities. Meanwhile the Village of Mount Pleasant says they plan to meet soon and discuss other options to help homeowners.