Benton homeowner concerned flood water is cracking foundation

Benton homeowner concerned flood water is cracking foundation

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. – Cracks continue to spread inside a Saline County home and now the owner said she’s concerned her investment could all come crashing down.

Tiara Howlett reached out to Working4You last month and said water is building up under her house, causing it to shift.

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After some digging, the homeowner found out the problem dates back long before she bought the house.

“It’s not like you are just buying a piece of candy or something from Lowe’s,” Howlett said. “This is an actual $250,000 investment that you don’t just take lightly.”

A few weeks ago, Working4You walked through Tiara Howlett’s home. It’s a three-bedroom home that’s falling apart at the seams.

“I just didn’t expect this to be one of the things that comes with homeownership,” Howlett said.

She said she first noticed cracking in the walls a year ago. Then it was the unevenness in the floor and a backyard like wet clay.

“It just stays soft,” Howlett said. “May, June, July. It wasn’t raining, and the yard just stayed soft.”

She said she’s concerned water is collecting under the foundation.

“The county engineer came out, he did an inspection and was just like, ‘There’s no drainage in the subdivision. You guys don’t have a proper drainage system here,’” Howlett said.

Benton subdivision regulations say “as-built” street, drainage and utility plans must be given to the city before plat approval.

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The subdivision is now technically in the county’s jurisdiction. Working4You requested final plats from its offices and in them, you can see plans for a drainage and utility easement.

“It obviously slipped through the cracks somehow,” Howlett said.

We still don’t know whether it wasn’t installed, or the system just isn’t sufficient. Regardless, Howlett is hoping for a change.

“I’m not trying to wake up in a sinkhole,” Howlett said. “I just don’t want to wake up and the house has collapsed.”

Howlett said she is worried for her children’s safety and the money she has invested into the property.

She said at the end of the day she believes it was the builder’s fault but is now hoping the county can lend a hand.

“I don’t know,” Howlett said. “I was just really sad because I’m like I don’t know what to do.”

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Working4You reached out to the county to get more information on the drainage system in the subdivision and if anything can be done to fix it. We have not been able to get ahold of the builder.

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