Wind stirs up more problems for West Richland neighborhood

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. – The windy conditions on Sunday were more extreme than the typical wind that blows through the Tri-Cities. Yet, for a small neighborhood in West Richland, it only highlighted an ongoing problem.

“At times, you’d thought it was night there was that much dust in the air,” Paul Laws said.

“I’ve never seen so much dirt in my life that’s in your mouth, in your teeth, in your eyes,” Claud Jones added.

The dust, dirt and debris from Sunday’s wind was a pain for everyone, but even more so for this group of neighbors off of West Van Giesen Street in West Richland.

“It’s frustrating, it’s really frustrating, on a level of one to ten, about a nine and three quarters. It ruins my property. It’s a big set back financially, labor wise,” Billy Simmons explained.

Simmons said even the slightest bit of wind blows dust and dirt over from a nearby neighborhood that’s under development. He said it’s covered his and neighbors property, leaving them to clean it up.

READ MORE: Crews continue to clean up after windy Sunday conditions

“It gives me a severe lung condition that puts me down. Seriously unhealthy, I have COPD, and respiratory issues,” Simmons said.

Simmons and his neighbors said it gets in their homes, covers their land and causes health issues and they want the developer to do more to prevent fugitive dust.

“They didn’t wet it, they didn’t do nothing and every time – and it doesn’t take much of a wind. They know the weather forecast just like I did, four, five, days in advance of this coming, they could’ve done something about this,” Paul Laws added.

KAPP KVEW reached out to the land developer, Ranchland Homes LLC, who said they were very diligent about watering the land before the wind on Sunday.

John Lyle with the Benton Clean Air Agency said while Sunday’s wind was an anomaly, developers should have plans in place to minimize the effects on nearby homes.