Homeowners, businesses struggle to hold back water as rain continues

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal David Yamamoto, 11, left, and Bud Kop, 17, clean up mud in front of Ann Erwin's Iris Street home after Saturday's flood.

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal David Yamamoto, 11, left, and Bud Kop, 17, clean up mud in front of Ann Erwin's Iris Street home after Saturday's flood.

The Erwin family didn't have big plans for New Year's Eve, they figured on spending a quiet evening at home. But, those plans changed after they awoke Saturday morning to an inch of water in their home near Telegraph and Iris streets.

"It's just a mess, our garage is flooded and our computer room is flooded. The water in the streets got up to the top of the wheel wells on our cars parked out front. We had to open the gate and let the water into the back yard to keep it out of the house," Ann Erwin said.

But, with the help of their neighbors and extended family, the Erwins managed to stem the flow of water on their street, moving the sandbag lines three times to redirect the water away from homes.

"We have gone through five pairs of boots this morning, I had to go buy more," Erwin said. "It's become a bad block party with everyone helping put up sandbags and shovel through the mud. Our family really came to the rescue."

With aunts, uncles and cousins from the Carson City area, the whole family strapped on their waders and pulled out their shovels.

Just after 11:30 a.m. Saturday, the family had successfully sandbagged the street and began dealing with the large amounts of mud left after the water subsided.

"Now we are just going to keep our eyes on things and hope the city eventually comes by with a backhoe to clean up this mud," Erwin said.

This is the second time the family has dealt with the threat of water invading their home, as they suffered through Carson City's last major flood in 1997.

"We were here then and this is much worse than the last time. We had water last time, but not nearly as much mud as this one," she said.

Despite the hard work and blowing rain, the mood was still jovial as neighbors and family members continued to unclog drains, even stopping briefly to engage in a mudball fight.

The biggest concern for the family was more rain breaking through the sandbags, or the temperature dropping and the water and mud freezing. However, they said, no matter what happens, they will make it through.

"It's a bad way to start the new year but we'll get through it," Erwin said.

As the Erwins continued to fill and stack sandbags, down the street at Mo and Sluggo's Bar and Grill, bartender Trish Fanning was discovering a problem of her own.

"We had about 2.5 inches of water through the whole restaurant. My reaction was, where do I start? I walked through the door and realized I needed sandbags and went from there," she said.

The water saturated the carpet and caused problems with several appliances in the kitchen, but didn't get into the coolers or behind the bar, according to Fanning.

Fanning's husband Mitch came in to help dry out the restaurant and said it was a slow process getting the floor dried out.

"I have been keeping track and we have bailed about 400 gallons of water out five gallons at a time," Mitch Fanning said.

n Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.


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