Covington families still displaced after retaining wall falls

COVINGTON, KENTUCKY (FOX19) - It has been five weeks since a falling retaining wall forced four families from their Covington homes. As of Friday, those families are still displaced but the city says progress to fix the mess is being made.

For five weeks now, the 3400 block of Caroline Avenue has been closed.

Crews spent Friday surveying the damage caused when a retaining wall broke away from the hillside December 13. Mary Turner and her husband woke up to a broken water main, a busted gas line and the hillside in front of their home crumbling.

"The young lady that lives at the end of the street woke me up at a quarter to five banging on the door saying, 'get up! Get up! The wall fell!' I got up and opened my bedroom door and there is water just gushing everywhere and within about ten minutes, there is a sidewalk out there. The sidewalk just disappeared," says Turner.

Due to safety concerns, the families that live on Caroline Avenue have been staying with relatives or renting apartments. With no running water, electricity or other utilities, the Turners have been forced to live in an apartment above their lawyer's office until it's fixed but they still are not sure when that will be.

"It's the uncertainty. That's the worst. No one has offered to give us any help or to do anything for us at all. Every time you ask someone, they give you a different date," says Turner.

But there has been progress. In an update sent out by the city of Covington Friday, officials estimate residents could be back in their homes by the end of the month. A project that would normally take 6 months may be finished in a matter of weeks.

"It's just the inconvenience," says Turner.

It is a quick fix Turner says isn't coming quick enough.

"It's just not fair," says Turner.

Still, no one knows what caused the wall to fall, the water main to break or what busted the gas line. The city says the surveyors working on the site Friday are still figuring that out. Meanwhile, crews will begin tearing down the old wall and building the new one next week. Eventually, new water and gas lines will be put in and all four families, including the Turners, will be able to return to their homes.

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