Residents along St. Johns River afraid for crumbling property | News

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Residents along St. Johns River afraid for crumbling property

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some Northside residents are afraid for their waterfront property.

The residents along St. Johns River said they've had problems with erosion since dredging began on the river.

"I'm living on the edge, I guess," said Don Pellegrini, who lives on the edge of the St Johns River near Heckscher Drive.

He told First Coast News he took a picture of his dock Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon, it was gone.

"I get a call from my next door neighbor telling me my dock is in the river and my bulkhead's disappearing," Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini said this is actually the second dock; he lost the first one four years ago.

"Like clockwork," said Richard Reese. "It just keeps happening every year."

Reese said he asked the Army Corps of Engineers for help, but said he hasn't gotten any answers.

"Nobody can come up with an idea of why this keeps happening," Reese said.

While they wait for answers, they say the river is eating away at their yards and inching closer to their homes.

"I've lost 23 feet in the last 10 years from that point straight back," Reese said. "It's on my surveys."

"We're worried about how much this can take when it starts to gobbling up stuff," Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini said he's not sure where to go from here, but he won't be building another dock, saying he can't take any more heartbreak.

UPDATE, 11/16/12:

The Army Corps of Engineers is aware of the situation, according to spokesperson Amanda Ellison.

Ellison told First Coast News they have been studying the environmental impact since 2004, saying, "The Corps typically models and evaluates all reasonably foreseeable impacts from projects, including any erosion and wake impacts that may result. These impacts will be discussed in the draft and final environmental impact study for the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening project."

Ellison added the Army Corps of Engineers encourages the public to get involved with the study process. Contact information can be found at this link.


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