Standing water, unwanted critters taking over blighted Raleigh home

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Raleigh man says rats, rodents, snakes and more are coming out of a blighted home next door to his house.

Steve Echols said he’s done what he can to get help with the overgrown spot, but he and his family are at their wits’ end.

Standing in the rain with umbrellas in hand Echols showed WREG what he looks at every day next door to the home he’s lived in for the last 20 years.

“It’s aggravating,” he said.

The vacant house next door has boarded, broken windows, overgrown grass and trash building up.

“For some apparent reason, nobody wants to keep this property up at all,” Echols said. “Snakes, raccoons, foxes go up underneath the house to live.”

The animals are not the only problem he’s dealing with. Echols said sitting water at the house is not just from Friday’s rainfall, he thinks there’s a water leak.

“That’s been constantly, for the past 3 months, I know the water comes from underneath the house somewhere, and it’s just sitting right there,” Echols said.

Echols said the home wasn’t always like this.

According to records, it looks like the home on Egypt Central Road has changed ownership through the last few years.

Echols said he’s reached out to the city about the overgrown grass and Memphis Light Gas and Water about the suspected leak, but he said people he talked to on the other end of the line have told him someone is living in the home.

“I know for a fact no one has lived here for the past four months now,” Echols said. “It’s frustrating, Ms. Shay, that’s why we’re reaching out to you guys.”

So we reached out to the city and MLGW. We also went to the home and noticed an outside light was on, but no one answered the door or appeared to be inside the house.

“People coming up here and dumping stuff,” Echols said. “They don’t have any kind of garbage can or mailbox.”

After WREG reached out the city and MLGW, we came back out to the house hours later and made a new discovery. A red sign here on the door handle says a crew came out and discovered the problem, saying it’s water continuously running through a meter, and they said it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to take care of the issue.

But for Echols, that’s just the beginning of addressing the problem…

“We don’t know where to go from here,” he said.

MLGW said there is a leak, and we’ve also reached out to the City about the overgrown grass. The City sent the following statement.

“There have been several notices of violations issued to the property owner for this location. Code Enforcement will investigate the property again on Monday and site the owner to Environmental Court.”

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