NewsLocal NewsBoone CountyWalton

Actions

More NKY residents relate home damages to nearby blast sites

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 16:23:27-05

WALTON, Ky.  — Homeowners in Walton, Ky., believe roof and foundation damage to their homes is a direct result of a nearby construction zone where crews have been blasting to clear the ground.

This comes days after Burlington residents said their homes were being damaged by blasting at the Amazon Hub at CVG.

Now, more than 40 homeowners have contacted WCPO to say that three years of blasting near their homes in Walton is causing thousands of dollars in damages.

"The insurance company gave me money to paint," said Edna Harrison, whose home will need much more than a new coat of paint; she said the walls of her home are separating from the ceilings.

Harrison's insurance company denied her claim, and she's not alone. Insurance claims filed by her neighbors have been denied, too.

"You're trusting people to come in and look at your house, and take you seriously," said Amanda Schadler, a homeowner in the same neighborhood of Walton. "And they just say, 'Sorry. Sorry about your luck. It's all within blasting limits.'"

Schadler called the city to complain, to no avail. Then she called the general contractor on the project, with similar results. Then she tried an attorney.

"The attorney reached out to the state," she said. "Had three seismographs put on three homes in this area."

She said the blasting intensity in the area suddenly went down as soon as those seismographs were put in.

WCPO has reached out to John Mura, with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, to request blast records from the time the company began blasting through November, when the cabinet installed the seismograph instruments. Mura responded to say that the cabinet does not have records from the blasting company. He said the cabinet can and has been inspecting the records, but they have no physical copies they can supply.

WCPO also requested information on whether the state agency has an on-site representative inspecting blast sites and the amounts of explosives used, or if the blasting company is relied upon to self-report. As of the publishing of this story, WCPO has not yet received a response.

Fines for blasting companies who exceed the amount of appropriate explosives, or are found to be in violation of rules set for blast zones, are only required to pay a $500 fine.

"That's a stun," said Schadler. "That's like, no way. Only $500? With all this damage?"

A vibration engineer came to Schadler's home and inspected the property and the damages, she feels, are a result of the blast zone.

"He said our backyard is like a funnel," she said. "Our home is sitting in the lower end of the valley absorbing the blast. What does that tell you? That's not in the report written up by VCE either."

The attorney Schadler hired in October denied representing the group of homeowners in November, leaving Schadler and many of her neighbors feeling as if no one has taken their issues seriously.

"My house is due for upgrades," she said. "Do I do them? Cover up everything that's been damaged and have the possibility of having things redamaged?"

If you think your home has been damaged due to nearby blasting, you can reach out to Jake Ryle at Jake.Ryle@wcpo.com or call the newsroom at 513.852.4071.