Memphis and Southaven in dispute over erosion on the state line

Memphis and Southaven in dispute over erosion on the state line
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - On Santa Barbara, near the Tennessee-Mississippi state line, the road just stops.

Between Conrad Hill's house in Memphis and the mini-storage facility in Southaven, there's a 10-foot slope where erosion has caused his fence to fall over.  Anyone walking by can just walk into his backyard.

"They got full access to it," Hill said.

He said he has caught teenagers behind his house.

"Sometimes I'll come out here and find condoms and stuff," he said.

Hill and other neighbors said Santa Clara Road was once being considered to extend into Southaven. However, the Homeowner's Association didn't want traffic coming between Mississippi and Tennessee in their neighborhood.

"So what they did is they dug out the woods that was behind us and dug out a ditch, just a dirt ditch,"  Hill explains.

Hill and his neighbors deal with falling fences, exposed tree roots, and having to watch their kids a little closer.

There's one big hold up for these neighbors: they don't know who to ask for help, they just want it fixed.

Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said that an engineering survey has been done and the drainage problem is on the Memphis side, so it's their problem. The elevation on the Memphis side is higher, so the drainage coming down from the run off is from the city of Memphis.

Members of the Board of Aldermen also said there's litigation in the works and they are letting the lawyers handle it.

But while the cities figure out who's going to fix the problem, Hill said "our fence is falling down, my neighbor's fence is falling down. I'm not sure about the neighbors down the street, but I'm sure they're having the same problem."

The City of Memphis issued a statement regarding the issue.

City Engineering is aware of the watershed that impacts properties along Santa Clara extend into Southaven, MS. In other words, the majority of rain water that impact this development comes from Southaven, MS. We are unaware of erosion concerns, however there's been yard flooding in the area, but no actual structure being flooded.

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