Aspen Park residents return home |

Aspen Park residents return home

by Amy Alonzo

Douglas County building inspectors Ed Kollar and Lamont McCann walk through a large puddle while inspecting the flooding in Aspen Park Monday morning.
Brad Coman |

The East Fork of the Carson River runs just feet from Ginny and Mark Washam’s Aspen Park mobile home, so when waters began to rise over the weekend, they warily watched the river creep closer to their property.

“We’re kind of guaranteed to get hit here,” Ginny said Monday afternoon as she stood on the back porch and looked out at the water.

A holding pond sits between the Washam’s property and the river. Over the weekend they watched as water filled the pond, then crept into their yard. When about a foot of water seeped into their yard Sunday evening, they packed their two dogs and canary and left.

“My concern was not knowing how high it would go,” she said. “We’re the buffer to the other houses.”

The couple returned to their home Monday afternoon. Nothing was damaged, “just mud everywhere,” she said.

The Washams were among several dozen Aspen Park homeowners who evacuated their properties Sunday because of rising water levels. The park is located off Centerville Lane. About 50 homes in the old portion of the park, closest to the river, were evacuated. An additional 15 homes in the newer section of the park were also evacuated, said park manager Michelle Taylor.

Residents were able to return Monday.

The river level dropped drastically on Monday, and on Tuesday it was even lower, Taylor said.

“Nobody’s homes were damaged,” she said. “Nothing structurally. We lost our fence in the park but it’s mostly cleaning up the park now.”

Many of the park’s roads are still covered with a layer of mud and debris.

Russ Wilson said he left his property after a member of the East Fork Fire Department knocked on his door and asked him to leave.

Around 7:30 p.m. Sunday “the street was like a little river,” he said. “Fortunately it stopped right at the curb.”

Resident Cheryl Nafie, who lives across the street from the Washams, was asked to evacuate her property but chose to stay.

Nafie moved into her home in December of 2005, just weeks before the last major flood to hit the area.

“A similar thing happened and it didn’t get to our house, so I was hopeful this time,” she said.

Nafie said she didn’t sleep Sunday night, getting up each hour to check the water level. She had luggage packed for her and her two dogs in case she needed to leave.

“I feel very fortunate,” she said. “I think that was the worst. I think we’ve had our adrenaline rush for 2017. Let’s hope.”