DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Concerns over developer blasting continue to be a top issue for residents living in Southeast Durham. Some who live there said they’re still seeing damage to their homes from the dynamite explosions.
“This used to be the country,” resident Paige Polk said. “It’s not so much anymore. When I moved here, all of this was forest and was me and my neighbor Mike and a couple of small-scale family homes.”
Polk lives in an area of Southeast Durham where thousands of new homes will pop up in the coming years.
She said that in every direction around her, developers are blasting to make way. And because of it, she said cracks are popping up all over the walls of her house.
City, county and state officials spent Monday morning taking a bus tour around the area. People who lived along the stops expressed concerns about the new developments.
The tour was organized by community members and advocacy groups Preserve Rural Durham and the Leesville Road Coalition.
“There’s massive construction going on, lots of new homes, and we welcome them into our area,” Leesville Road Coalition co-founder Herman Sperling said. “But there’s an issue that needs to be supported with infrastructure.”
On another tour stop, Joyce Clemons told officials that developers blasted right next to her home on Leesville Road.
After the explosions, she says the glass globe around her porch light shattered among other damage.
“The floors are uneven and it’s just something that in the long run, I may have to pay for what they caused,” Clemons said.
Down the street, Gene Ellixson is still seeing construction behind his house. He believes blasting caused part of his home’s exterior to crack along with parts of the driveway.
CBS 17 spoke with him in September about his battle for compensation.
“They would [blast] what looked like 100 feet at a time and the earth would just jump up six feet,” Ellixson said.
Just like him, Polk seeks assistance from local officials to figure out how they can get their homes repaired without paying a significant cost out of pocket.
And many fear more blasting is on the way.
“In order for these developers to build here, they have to dynamite blast up to 20 feet into the soil,” Polk told local leaders, including Mayor Elaine O’Neal.
Those who organized the bus tour hope the state, county and city can work together more to plan Southeast Durham’s future.