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Crews work to stop more homes from toppling into the Skagit River in Lyman

Home topples into the Skagit River in November of 2017

LYMAN, Wash. -- The federal government is working to shore up a part of the Skagit River that claimed several homes earlier this year in Lyman, Washington.

Wednesday the Army Corps of Engineers began a five day project to slow down river erosion. Crews are working in the area where two homes fell into the river. They're digging a long trench and filling it with heavy rocks.

“Hopefully that will stop the erosion of the river from coming any further,” said Lyman Mayor Eddie Hills

The trench will be 500 feet long.

“I’m glad they are doing it for all the people out there and I hope it saves their homes,” said BrieAnna Anderson who lost her home from river erosion in Lyman last fall. “I just wish they thought about that before ours had to go in.”

The lives of Anderson, her husband and three daughters changed drastically Thanksgiving night nearly a year ago when they were told to get everything out of their house because a levee broke on the Skagit River.

“We got the last truck filled, and out of the driveway, and we just stood there saying, what’s really going to happen and that’s when we lost the big stump that was right in front of the kitchen window, it fell and the ground began falling right then,” said Anderson.

It wasn’t until months later their home toppled down the embankment.

Two other homes on the eroding river bank were also lost. All three families are still looking for new homes, but Anderson said nothing will compare to the beauty of being on the Skagit.

Lyman lost nearly 200 feet of land to the river.

Mayor Hills says more homes, a road, a trail and power lines could all be in jeopardy if more flooding and erosion happens.

The trench is designed to stop erosion and save Lyman from washing away.

“When the river comes and starts eroding, the rock should fall in place and stop the eroding,” said Hills.

Crews will work around the clock until the project is complete.

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