A unified neighborhood: community comes together to help clean u - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A unified neighborhood: community comes together to help clean up a muddy mess

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RICHLAND, WA - One neighborhood in Richland was among the hardest hit by last night's storm.

Reporter Rex Carlin visited the White Bluffs neighborhood, where a mudslide wreaked havoc on the neighborhood, but its attention focused on one house in particular.

A wall of mud had started coming down a hill, taking over the Roberts family's home.

"It all concentrated down here," Bart Roberts explained. "It was a thick, jello-like consistency of mud that instantly coated the drains and I was out here with my cross-country ski pole trying to dig a hole in the grates and it was all for nothing. And there was cloud to ground strikes like I've never seen in this area before."

So the whole neighborhood came out, with one man bringing a John Deere tractor to help clear mud and 20 people working to clear even more mud away from the family's garage and home. More people were helping out in other areas.

One neighbor says she's had her concerns about the drainage of the neighborhood since she moved in two years ago.

"I did have concerns because I notice this is a dry area, very arid, very sandy soil, so that was my concern, especially after a good rain I had the first season I was here, two years ago," said Venita Simpson. "And I stepped out, just checking the fence line and my foot caved into the ground and it was about 36 inches deep."

But for Bart Roberts, he says he isn't here to point fingers.

He stays positive, and it's easier to do so knowing everyone in this neighborhood is in it together, helping one another out in times of need.

"It could have been a total gut-job, but as it is, I'm not sure it's going to be that big of a deal."

Simpson says she's tried reaching the developer over the phone to get more information on the drainage problem, but as we heard from a few people in the neighborhood today, sometimes a freak storm comes around and there's simply nothing you can do about it.

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