Odessa, TEXAS (ABC Big 2/FOX 24 News) – Earlier this week, local families were upset after their loved ones’ graves at the Ector County Cemetery were sunken in.
“I totally cried even seeing others people’s graves that I don’t even know, but it’s somebody’s loved one,” said Mark Luna, who came to visit family.
We reached out to Ector County Cemetery Director Anna Marie Torres for answers about what happened, and how the problem of sunken in graves could be avoided. She declined an interview, but said she is very sorry that families had to see the damage.
Torres explained that the sinking in people see is called settling. She said the graves that had been disturbed were mainly more recent graves, and that settling can happen. Cemetery workers have worked on covering the sites with dirt, but with the next heavy rain, the problem could easily happen again. Torres says this has happened before, but it’s never been as bad as it was this week.
Some of this week’s cemetery visitors said they would like to see drainage systems put in place, or to elevate the graves. Torres says while she sympathizes, this is a case of Mother Nature taking it’s course, and that cemetery officials can’t do anything besides cover up the graves again.
The Ector County Cemetery is a member of the Texas Cemeteries and Crematories Association. The Association says they have not received any complaints about the cemetery. While the Association is not a regulatory authority, one of their members explains it is a statewide organization made up of volunteers who want to help families and cemeteries. The TCCA recommends families try to resolve any issues directly with the Ector County Cemetery. If that doesn’t work, you can call the TCCA to try and come to a solution.