2006 a good year, despite the watery start | NevadaAppeal.com

2006 a good year, despite the watery start

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Jeff and Ann Erwin sit on the curb in front of their home near Telegraph and Iris streets on Saturday. Last year at this time, the couple woke up to a flooded garage and knee-deep water in their front yard.

The year 2006 was good for the Erwin family. Jeff and Ann celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, watched one child graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno, and celebrated the 21st birthday of another.

Not bad, considering it began with their garage and yard under water. The Nevada Appeal spoke to the Erwin family shortly after the flood hit their home near Telegraph and Iris streets one year ago.

At that time, Jeff and Ann Erwin had planned on spending the last day of 2005 around the house and didn’t really have any plans for New Year’s.

Jeff awoke around 6 a.m., walked into the garage and headed outside to get the newspaper. He stepped off the step into a puddle of water and knew his easy day wasn’t going to happen.

The Erwins spent the rest of the day battling a rising pool of water that enveloped their entire block. The Erwins’ front lawn was soon blanketed by a six-inch layer of mud and burned sticks.

“I had water up to my knee in some places. It was back down the next day, but dealing with the mud took a lot longer,” Ann said recently in her living room.

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The water took over the street, pouring through the garage and into one room of the house. The Erwins, with the help of their neighbors and extended family, were able to keep the water from advancing farther.

“Having family and neighbors help was the key. I can’t imagine how much longer it would have taken us without them,” Jeff said.

It was the second flood the family had endured, having also been around for the flooding in 1997.

“We flooded in 1997, but there wasn’t nearly as much mud as last year. This time, it covered our whole front lawn,” Ann said.

Crews from the city put sandbags in the area to help homeowners control the water and brought a backhoe in to clean up the mud after the flooding had receded.

The family waited until the summer to remove the mud from their front lawn, a task made more difficult because the mud had hardened.

The Erwins said this time of year they pay close attention to the forecast.

“We are looking at the 14-day forecast, and if there is even the slightest chance of flooding we are grabbing sandbags and sandbagging the garage,” Jeff said.

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