There are many who would love to live in a mansion on a cliff that offers spectacular views, just not when that cliff is crumbling out from underneath it.
That’s just what the owners of a 4,000-square-foot mansion on Overlook Court in Whitley, Texas are currently dealing with. About a year ago, a crack was found in the earth below the home which overlooks Lake Whitney, and as of two weeks ago, the owners evacuated, and it seems as though they left just in time. On June 10 at approximately 6:30 p.m., the foundation of the home, which is valued at more than $700,000, started crumbling into the lake 75 feet below. Authorities state that a large piece has fallen off of the mansion, but there’s no way to say if or when the rest of it will go. There’s been sightings of falling soil and various other pieces of debris. A sign in the front of the house reads, “EXTREME DANGER, STAY OFF PREMISES.”
Neighbors can reportedly hear large pieces crashing below and can see the house shifting. Connie Ash and Jackie McNamara, neighbors who live across the lake, stated of the initial crash, “I immediately thought it was an earthquake or blasting; it was loud, really loud. And then I saw smoke, dust, water… I don’t know, it was a huge cloud of stuff.” The two called 911 and proceeded to watch the home shift as they looked on through binoculars. Aerial images of the mansion show that there is an empty space under the center of the structure.
Mark Wilson, the Chief Deputy with the Hill County Sheriff’s Office, stated that the Army Corps of Engineers is in the lake checking out the home and preventing boaters from wandering into the danger zone. Randy Cephus, who is with the Fort Worth District of the Army Corp of Engineers, explained, “We have some of our lake staff that are taking photos to get a picture of how the erosion is going. We’re looking at a number of things, including erosion, load that’s on the top from watering and rain, the actual fault, and some fill material with a retaining wall that was placed in there. There are many things that are being looked at and evaluated.”
The home, which is owned by a couple and located in the private community of the White Bluff Resort, was built only in 2007. As per instructions of the subdivision, reporters and visitors are not allowed near the property. The owners of the mansion are reportedly responsible for all cleanup of the collapsing mansion.