A giant fracture in a limestone cliff overlooking Lake Whitney is threatening another luxury home, less than a year after a mansion next door was burned to the ground before it could collapse and fall into the North Texas lake below.[[296588941,L]]
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is "very concerned with public safety" in light of the new crack. Chopper 5 flew over the long crack Tuesday that could soon put another luxury home in danger of crumbling into the lake.
The Corps of Engineers said Tuesday it will work to "keep things as safe as possible in the area until the danger has subsided." The group said that while the issue involves private property who are ultimately responsible for correcting the problem, they will help in any way they can.
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“A lot of time has gone by, and it’s gotten wider and deeper and more perilous, if you will, about falling,” said Steve Mellgren, who lives in the house next door.
The growing crack is 30 feet behind his back fence.
“It's very scary. It's straight down, it's fractured,” said Mellgren. “You can throw a pebble, and you can, for five or six seconds, it continues to fall.”
Mellgrin admits his own home may not be in danger – at least not yet – but with the cliff beyond it threatening to fall, he says a few small buoys set out in the water aren’t enough to keep curious boaters away.
“My house, it’s one of those things if it’s going to happen it’s going to happen,” said Mellgren, “But for the public, for the people on that lake, I think we need to focus on that and make sure they’re OK.”
“It does pose a hazard,” said Randy Cephus, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “So as the situation gets worse, we can have people who can actually monitor it, and if need be they can put out buoys or markers to keep people away from the debris.”
There’s been talk of safely imploding the cliff away from the crack, but the private landowners would have to pay for it.
“It is a private land, and a private person needs to take care of it that situation,” said Cephus.
Mellgren doesn’t own the land the crack crosses, but he’s pushing for a solution before someone gets hurt.
“Something needs to be done, and it's just a wait and see, and I don’t think there’s time for wait and see,” said Mellgren.
Lake Whitney Cliff House Set on Fire, Burned to the Ground in 2015
In July 2014, fire crews burned down a luxury home teetering atop a crumbling 75-foot limestone cliff over Lake Whitney, rather than wait for it to tumble into the water.
Chunks of both the cliff and the 4,000-square-foot home fell into Lake Whitney for days.
Spectators in dozens of boats witnessed the demolition from a safe distance, while others watched online and on TV as the $700,000 home burned and fell into the lake.
The foundation, the last remains of the home on the 1200 block of Overlook Court, could be seen from Chopper 5 Tuesday, not far from where another home appears to be in danger of the same fate.
NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.