A set of homes damaged in the flood of May 2010 have turned into neighborhood eye sores threatening the health of area children, according to nearby residents.
Neighbors along in the 100 block of Riverside Drive in Carthage called Nashville's News 2 because they said calls to city officials to clean up the properties have not worked.
“For two years and seven months this has been going on,” neighbor Marty Harris said. “We have called several times and complained to the city about keeping the yards up and we have contacted councilmen but we have no response from anybody.”
Behind one of the homes a pool and hot tub are filled with standing stagnant water.
Another house has several broken windows, mold and dozens of cats living inside. The yard is also over grown.
The homes, like much of the neighborhood, flooded in May 2010 when the Cumberland River overflowed its banks.
Since then, the houses have remained in disrepair.
“It is horrible,” neighbor James Crawford said. “Mosquitoes and snakes are coming from the property. We can not come out and sit on our deck anymore because of the mosquitoes.”
Crawford has started maintaining the yard of the neighboring house in an effort to keep the area nice and safe.
Another neighbor started doing the same for the home next to his. It is also empty following the May 2010 flood.
But, the conditions have continued to deteriorate.
“The smell, the stench is unreal,” he said. “It smells like raw sewage.”
Neighbors worry about West Nile virus because of the number of mosquitoes breeding in the standing water. They also worry a child could fall into the pool if it were able to get past the locked fence.
“You don't know what is growing in it because it hasn't been tested,” Harris said. “It is just a really bad environment with all these children and the grandchildren I have in my house.”
Neighbors said the homeowners do not live in Carthage.
Nashville's News 2's efforts to track down the property owners Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.
Attempts to contact Carthage's Mayor Sabra Hodge were also unsuccessful.
Harris and Crawford want the city to bulldoze the properties and allow neighbors to turn them into green space.
Both said they would be willing to make offers for the land, but have been told the property owners have turned down their offers.