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“Unfortunately we have her now in College Station at the A& M pet hospital for an MRI. She has a severely fractured right front leg at the elbow requiring a difficult surgery plus an MRI of her left back leg and hip area. X-ray doesn’t show anything clearly and she won’t move it. We’re here waiting before leaving as she’ll be here for at least a few days.”

Just after 10 am Sunday morning Needham Fire was dispatched to Lake Drive in the Lake Creek Forest Subdivision for reports of a 63-year-old male who had fallen 50-feet into a ravine. They arrived on the scene to find Chad Mcmanus at the bottom of the ravine which borders his property. He and several neighbors had been searching for his dog Sandi, a 15-year-old retriever which they had gotten from a rescue in 2006. Sandi is deaf and has hip issues making it difficult for her to walk. They believe she got through an opening in the fence and go to close to the edge when she fell Friday night. They had a large group planning to start a search again this afternoon when Chad McManus decided to find a way to the bottom of the ravine and search for her. That is when he came across her, injured, and severely dehydrated. He called his wife Diane to report he had found her and asked her to call some neighbors to help them get back out since Chad had leg issues. Instead, his wife called 911. When Needham arrived and saw what they had they immediately called The Woodlands Fire Department Technical Rescue Team. Once The Woodlands arrived a tripod was set up alongside the ravine and a firefighter repelled down to McManus and Sandi. Chad McManus who had no injuries insisted Sandi be removed first. A vest was placed on Sandi and a firefighter brought her to safety up the steep wall of the cliff. Once Sandi was out Chad McManus was hooked to a rescue line and brought out. Due to medical issues with his legs firefighters had a difficult time getting him up but it was eventually completed. Needham Fire transported Sandi to an emergency vet where she is being evaluated at this hour. Diane McManus who said she owns one-half of what she calls a ditch. In 2012 when she and her husband purchased the property it was only about eight feet. Then came Harvey and Imelda. The water from the subdivision flows under Lake Drive and comes out of two pipes which she said flows with such force she describes it as a garden hose with your finger over it. The land has eroded so badly that their fence is almost fallen into it. Gwen Vagis, a neighbor on the opposite side of the ditch echos McManus’s claim of the size of the ditch. She said when they bought their property in seventeen-year ago the center of the shallow ditch was twenty-five-feet from their fence. Today the concrete holding the fence posts in the ground ar visible. Both say they have talked to Montgomery County officials to no avail. They are told it is their property and there is nothing the county can do. An engineer they contacted said the cost to repair the damage and resolve the issue is in the neighborhood of $5 million dollars. Vagis said every year the tax notices come in they have to protest it as their land slowly washes away. William Dicker, Assistant Chief of Operations for Needham Fire and Rescue said edges of the ravine posed a bit of a challenge as it kept breaking off. He also said the ravine has gotten much deeper with the flooding over the years. The narrow Lake Drive is has a short guardrail along both sides of the road in hopes of stopping a vehicle from going off into it. However, with the edge so close to the edge it would be very easy for a child just like the dog did, fall into it. Sandi is now being evaluated by a veterinarian.

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