Paul Teolis watched helplessly as his 5-acre property was all but wiped out by a major flood on July 19.
The Spring Valley resident lives alongside Big Bug Creek. That Wednesday afternoon, the creek took on a nature Teolis has never seen in his four years of living there.
“I’ve never seen it run bank to bank this hard,” he said.
While the Mayer and Spring Valley areas received a good amount of precipitation that day, it was nowhere near a 100-year rainfall event, said Yavapai County Flood Control District Director Dan Cherry.
However, due to the upstream burn scar left by this summer’s Goodwin Fire, the runoff was severe.
“It was certainly approaching 50-100 year type inundation limits,” Cherry said.
As a result, Teolis’s outhouses were filled with water; several of the cars on his property were submerged; his 4,000-square-foot home was compromised as water made its way under the foundation; his barn filled with two feet of mud; and a major portion of a six-foot chain-link fence encompassing the property was flattened by rushing rapids and the debris brought with it.
Teolis relies on Social Security to get by. He stopped working when he was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory delaminating polyneuropathy, an acquired immune-mediated inflammatory disorder of the peripheral nervous system.
“Some of the nerves are essentially stripped of their protective coating, so they short out,” Teolis said. “My hands start locking up, my legs go numb, I get dizzy and stress enhances it.”…
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