ANCHORAGE -

Butte residents take matters in to their own hands to stop river from reaching property. The rising river has threatened Butte homes for about a week now. Residents living close recently got a permit to improving barriers themselves.

Pat Huddleson's Butte home sits off a side road where you can glimpse the river's edge down the road from her yard. 

"This is horrible," Huddleson said. Her kitchen table is filled with boxes of food. The floor has a few plastic totes. "This is how we live."

She and her husband are packed in case of an emergency evacuation like they had in 2012. "This thing has been so depressing to me it's hard to keep going."

When she and her husband stared working their property, the river was further away.

Down the road, Borough Emergency Manager, Casey Cook points to a sandbar surrounded by river. He said just a few years ago, it was a place where you could turn a truck around. He estimates that on some properties, the river has eaten up acres of land.

Some of Huddleson's neighbors have started working on their own barrier. Huddleson calls it the "Plug the Hole" project. They use personal equipment and resources to protect their property. Cook says the residents filled out and paid for a permit, then asked everyone else to back off.

"The residents have asked for us to respect their private property rights and not come on their property so we're going to respect those rights as long as they're not hurt and no body gets in danger we'll respect that private property rights," Cook said.

Cook says there's little the borough can do, since there isn't documentation on which entity is control of the dike.

"Until we do fiend piece of paper that says who owns what and who will maintain that we'll continue to have to hold this stance," Cook said.