Dayton homeowners experience damage
January 10, 2017
At 3 a.m. Monday morning, Chris Scott of Dayton woke up to his son, shaking his shoulder.
His small apartment behind the family house on Dayton Valley Road was flooded with water from overflow of the Carson River nearby, caused by the weekend's colossal storm.
"Search and rescue teams pulled up outside of our house," Scott said. "They dropped off sand bags and dirt, so we started setting up. We had water everywhere within three hours."
Water surged through the Dayton Valley Golf course and crossed the roads, draining its way to Scott's newly remodeled home.
He bought the house in April last year.
"We stayed up all night watching," he said. "We had everything under control but we lost it. It came so fast."
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The severe rain and snow caused Carson River's crest to fluctuate, but remained steady at major flood status. At least eight structures were confirmed damaged in Lyon County with 200 to 400 more properties threatened.
Meanwhile across the street around 5 a.m., Scott's neighbors, Larry and Ruth Smith, were evacuating their pets and livestock.
The water was waist high as they described — or, right above shins of each of their horses.
The couple had been awake since 9 p.m. Sunday night dealing with water trespassing through their garage and family room.
"This is the second time this happened to us," Ruth said. "We experienced the flood in 2005 but we never had anything this bad."
With the help of Lyon County Fire Department, animal services and other authorities, the Smiths were able to get their pets and livestock to shelter.
Scott also helped the Smiths return to their home with his all-terrain vehicle — with water reaching up to its seats.
When they first moved into the home, The Smiths said they hired two engineer contractors to provide an overview on their safety for severe weather. They were told the culverts were too small for volumes of water to come through.
"We thought we were ahead of the game but it all came so fast," Ruth said. "We were told the culverts nearby would protect us."
By sunrise, both families were safe — but left with devastating damages.
Two inches of water also destroyed the Smiths' garage, crawl space, game room and family room. The porch in their backyard was in an entirely different place than usual, as a result of the flood lifting it off from its piers. The Smiths, with water overflowing in their ducts, were left without electricity and heat.
The Scotts were left without clean water. "We lost our game room, our shop and my son's apartment," Scott said. "We're dealing with our fifth wheel water; our pumps our destroyed."
The culverts are rumored to be the culprit of disaster, according to residents in the neighborhood. With the possibility of sagebrush causing blockage, the Smiths said they rarely witnessed local public works maintaining culverts in the area, which may have promoted the flooding.
The water flowed off of their property onto Dayton Valley Road, then to Potosi Road which received road closures Monday.
"We were hoping the trench would take the water," Ruth said. "We're coping but it has been a nightmare."
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Smiths left behind their home with furniture stacked up against the walls to avoid further damage.
They're staying with their daughter and her husband, near River Boat Road in Dayton.
Luckily for Scott, he and his family were able to rely on his supportive neighbors to guard his animals, including chickens, horses, and pigs. He rented a tractor to continue piling up dirt around his house for safety, as the storm is predicted to scatter within the following days.
Scott and his family are planning to paint the house in the spring.
"It was brutal," he said. "But we saved the house. We're ready for the next coming days."