By Cleve Bryan
FLORENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBS) — A couple forced to evacuate their Florence Township house because of uncontrolled erosion finally made a trip home Thursday after spending some time with family and friends.
“This is not an easy thing to do. I want to be home,” says Lynne O’Dell.
A Florence Township engineer said last week there’s no telling if the O’Dell’s house or their neighbor Gene Woodlee’s house on Front Street will tumble down an encroaching 70-foot cliff into the Delaware River.
“We’re getting in touch with consulting firms to get an independent consulting group out here to assess what’s going on,” says Chris O’Dell.
He says last week a rain storm revealed an underground pipe gushing water into the embankment.
Burlington County crews capped the pipe which may have been releasing water collected on Front Street, a county road.
Florence Township assistant administrator Tom Sahol has said the county and not the municipality have infrastructure below the crumbling properties.
“We have not heard a word from the county yet,” says Lynne O’Dell who is hopeful about working with any local or county agency that will help stabilize their yard and make their home livable again.
As they wait for answers the Florence community is trying to help.
Women who attend First Baptist Church of Florence were busy Thursday cleaning a home usually used to house missionaries so that the O’Dells or Woodlee could stay there.
“We’re just happy to meet his need at this particular time – that’s what we’re here for,” says Pastor Ronald Finch.