Recovering from mudslides a process

A photo from the top of a mountain shows the Holbrook Highlands drainage leading down to Highway 395 on Thursday.

A photo from the top of a mountain shows the Holbrook Highlands drainage leading down to Highway 395 on Thursday.


The debris was cleared off Highland Way by Wednesday after a mudslide closed the road on Monday evening.

Douglas County Stormwater crew members are clearing culverts after a foot of mud and debris rolled out of the Sierra and down a drainage into the neighborhood.

No structures were affected by the landslide after .75 inches of rain fell on the Tamarack Burn in an hour but flooding affected driveways around the area.

Topaz Ranch Estates resident John Flaherty reported water washed about 6 inches off his driveway.

Alluvial flooding tends to be more common in places like Johnson Lane where there is a large watershed to contribute when there’s a storm.

But thunderstorms can strike anywhere, dropping a significant amount of rain in a small area over a short time sending debris into holes at the base of the mountains.

Last month’s record deluge in the Sierra washed out the main entrance to Markleeville after rain fell on the burn above Millberry Creek.

The same storm system washed 6 feet of muddy decomposed granite into the neighborhood of Horsethief Circle burying the rear of Larry and Casey Braun’s house and cutting a deep gorge in the driveway.

Today, Testa Motor Sports is hosting a fundraiser for the Braun’s to help them recover from the Aug. 4 flood.

The event is 3-10 p.m. and features two bands, organizers said on Thursday.

A gofundme account has so far raised $32,215 toward the $50,000 goal as crews remove tons of material from the site.

The Brauns found themselves in a similar situation as those residents of Johnson Lane in 2014-15 when monsoon rains fell washing mud into their homes and yards.

While their home overlooks Carson Valley, the Brauns live in California because the state line crosses their cul de sac.

While not required to purchase flood insurance, homes along the foothills of both the Sierra and the Pine Nuts are subject to mudslides.

Even with flood insurance purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, residents would still have to dig out and repair their yards on their own in most cases unless the work’s required for public safety reasons.


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