Army veteran, 70, fed up with illegal dumping eyesore in SW Houston neighborhood

HOUSTON – Carmella Stone, a 70-year-old U.S. Army veteran who risked her life serving as an operating nurse in Vietnam, walked through an ever-growing illegal dumping ground that has popped up in her neighborhood, just five houses from where she lives in the Ridgemont subdivision in southwest Houston.

“I see carpeting, debris. I see air conditioning ducts. I see piping and broken drywall and tile. It is disgusting and dangerous and it’s getting bigger,” Stone said, while shaking her head. “It’s a big deal because there are snakes and rats out here as well.”

It's not just an ugly, giant eyesore. The vacant lot at the corner of East Ridge Creek Drive and Booth Street is also being taken over by tall grasses that have been growing out of control for well over a year.

In fact, at some points, the grass stands 5 feet tall, exactly the same height as Stone.

“I have tried myself to pick up this place, but I would never venture into that tall grass because I have seen the snakes that live there. It’s too dangerous,” Stone said.

Stone told Channel 2 Investigates that she and her neighbors have been calling 311, the city of Houston’s help and information line, for over a year.

Three different times, she said, the city sent workers who have posted yellow signs warning the landowner that he or she is in violation of the city’s property maintenance code, but she said nothing else has happened and nothing has been done to rid her neighborhood of this eyesore.

“Whoever is in charge of this and whoever owns this needs to own up, and they need to mow it and clean it up and they need to put a sign out here saying 'no dumping,' because this is only going to get worse, much worse,” Stone said.

KPRC tried to contact the city of Houston’s Department of Neighborhoods division, but we were unable to reach anyone Monday night.

Bill Spencer and the Spencer Solves It team are looking into trying to fix this problem quickly.

If you need help with a problem you can’t possibly solve by yourself, contact Spencer Solves It at 713-223-TIPS (8477) or email us at solvesit@click2houston.com.