Residents react to flash flooding |

Residents react to flash flooding

by Caryn Haller
Personnel fill sandbags at the Johnson Lane Volunteer Fire Department in July.
Brad Coman |

Flood damage hotline

The number to call is (775) 782-6262 or visit

Kayne Street residents Jim and Patricia Miskella are taking a wait-and-see approach to cleaning up the mess left by Thursday’s flash flooding.

This is the third time in 15 years the couple’s property has flooded.

“I thought, not again,” Patricia said. “We were hoping it wasn’t going to be like last year. If it had gotten in the house, I’d be pissed.”

Nearly a foot of water filled the Miskella’s front and backyard, their garage and in the crawl space of their house. They were also left without water for 24 hours when the pressure switch in their pump shorted out.

“None of that is covered by insurance, no outbuildings, no personal property,” Patricia said. “Jim threw away so much last year. He had a lot of automotive stuff he had to toss.”

Jim built a three-foot pea gravel wall behind his barn and placed a double layer of sandbags against the fence he shares with his neighbor to prevent flooding.

“I’m 73 years old,” Jim said. “I can’t stand this two years in a row. You can’t change the weather.”

Besides placing a fan above the crawl space and shoveling water out of the garage, Jim said he plans to wait for the weather to dry up before doing any more work.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to clean it up just to flood again,” he said. “It’s going to be a couple weeks before it’s dry enough to clean out.”

Frustrated by what he sees as the county’s failure to prevent flooding, Jim had some advice for engineers.

“You’ve got to fix it so it doesn’t happen again, and that’s going to take millions of dollars,” he said. “They’ve got to go up in the mountains and see what valleys are channeling all the water and find someplace else for it to go.”

About four houses south of the Miskellas, Ralph Torsiello was confident his house wouldn’t be affected by flash flooding.

“It seems the way the water comes through off the mountain like little tributaries of streams, not everybody gets hit,” he added. “In 24 years, we’ve never gotten affected by mudslides. We had a lot of rain here, and all I had was a little water in my driveway.”

Frank and Lavon Main walked their Mac Drive neighborhood Friday morning surveilling the damage done by two straight days of flash flooding.

“I didn’t think it was as bad as last year,” Lavon said. “Two houses down from us there was some water that came through his place, but not much.”

Last year’s flooding brought mudslides through houses in the same area.

“What strikes me is the landscaping and how people are trying to do things to keep the mud out,” Lavon said.