Hot springs cleaning off after a mud bath; about $13,000 in damage reported

When the city was hit with heavy rains this month, the Carson Hot Springs Resort also got mud - a whole office full of it, which also leaked into the main pool.

"After the big rain we got on Dec. 1, we got bombarded with a river of muddy water," said resort manager Keith Shellhamer. "It flooded us, and we got about $13,000 in damage from it."

The hot springs resort, owned by Carson City Holding LLC, is on Old Hot Springs Road south of a 40-acre lot where excess dirt from the freeway construction project is being kept. According to the owner of that 40 acres and Ames Construction, the principal contractor on the freeway project, rain water swept across the leveled dirt, overflowed the ditch built around the property, and flooded the lowest point in the area - the hot springs.

"That's the way Mother Nature made it," property owner Don Langson said. "Water runs downhill."

Langson, who has owned the 40 acres since 1962, said they did get a lot of rain this month, but it's not more than usual. He said the flooding situation has gotten better since Ames Construction started storing dirt on the empty land about a year and a half ago.

Ames dug a drainage ditch and has built it up with more dirt since the muddy Dec. 1 flood.

The resort manager said it closed for two days and had to call a professional cleaner to remove the mud from the business. That bill came to $5,000. The new carpeting will cost about $2,300.

Another major cost was replacing the tile floor which peeled up because of the muddy water in the entry and the office.

Four employees worked 15 hours to try to keep the mud and dirt out the day of the flood. He estimates the business lost about $2,000 in revenue for the two days it was closed.

Shellhamer said he still isn't sure who is going to pay for the cost of the cleanup. He said a foreman with Ames Construction told him to get it cleaned up then give Ames the bill.

The representative with the construction company said it made no promises to the hot springs' manager.

"Ames is placing the material in accordance with the design from an outside engineering firm," Ames project engineer Tom Heneghan said. "There has been unusually heavy rain in the last few weeks, causing severe erosion and flooding through the region. Ames' insurance company has been notified to look into this matter."

He said a overflow from the fill site hasn't occurred since Dec. 1.

-- Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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