On a dry day, caution tape tells the story of what happens in Eunice Whitmire’s yard when it rains.
“I've had sewage spill in the yard,” said Eunice.
And it’s a problem she says has been happening for 14 years at her Tryon home. During heavy rains, Eunice’s low-lying yard gets backed up with the town's sewage and the smell that comes with it.
She says it sometimes even creeps into her house.
“It's been kind of a tough time,” said Eunice. “But I survive.”
The Town of Tryon has tried several fixes over the years, with a promising solution coming just a few months ago.
The town was awarded grant money to replace the 100-year-old sewer line by Eunice’s home. Council still had to decide what to do with Eunice in the meantime, especially after recent soil and air tests showed fecal bacteria in her yard and crawl space.
But Monday night, council agreed to move Eunice to a rental home, and pay for it until the sewer line project is complete, and until her home and yard are deemed environmentally safe.
“Ms. Whitmire's lease is a month to month lease, meaning if she has to stay in there longer, that's perfectly fine. We're willing to do that,” said Davis.
We also asked what took council so long to make a decision.
“I'm not really sure. I know this has been an ongoing issue,” said Davis. “Ms. Whitmire will tell you this is a 14 year issue. What I will tell you that this particular council has worked very hard. It's been a topic every month that I've been either the interim manager, or the permanent manager.”
They hope to get Eunice settled in to her new place within the next two weeks.
Town leaders also agreed to pay for her move and to clean her furniture.
They hope to have the sewer line project complete by the end of the year, weather permitting.