Yavapai County chairman asks Gov. Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency for the county.

MAYER — Residents in two trailer parks were cleaning up after taking the brunt of the damage from a fast-developing and completely unexpected flash flood in this small Yavapai County community.

As they shoveled away mud and swept up water, they couldn’t help but look over their shoulders. Yavapai County officials expressed concern as well.

Would future storm clouds wreak even more havoc on the community of 1,000, already reeling from the effects of the Goodwin Fire? Could thunderstorms pounding on areas scarred from that summer wildfire bring even more danger?

READ MORE: Evacuation in Mayer ends, but flood damage remains

Homes at Stagecoach Mobile Village and Chimney Ranch Mobile Home Park were damaged as a flash flood along Big Bug Creek Wednesday night transformed dirt roads into debris-strewn mud traps.

The park’s manager, Tiffany Peterson, said those in the community were cleaning up and taking stock. Water had seeped into her trailer and got into the subfloor, which Peterson said would have to be replaced. 

Peterson’s main concern was what might happen next — the next time water flows in from the north and the next time Big Bug Creek overflows. 

ALSO: Boy who survived flash flood reconnects with man who saved his life

“We’re not going to be able to reduce the damage right now,” Peterson said. “This is bad. I mean, the flood has nowhere to go.”

Tiffany’s husband, Jerry Peterson, did deliver some good news, saying the flooding hadn’t damaged their water and septic lines. 

Both were unsure whether their insurance covered flood damage.

Some seek emergency declaration for county

Michael McGhee, an assistant chief for Mayer Fire District, said a flood-sensor warning system didn’t pick up on the severity of the water flows at Stagecoach Mobile Village, another trailer park in Mayer.

“It didn’t look like it was going to be a problem,” McGhee said. “The warning system told us we had flows, but the system wasn’t able to predict that we were going to have a 15-foot wall of water hitting Mayer.”

He did, however, know why the flood was as bad as it was — the scar left behind by the Goodwin Fire.

SEE MORE:The Republic’s best photos from the Goodwin Fire 

That fire, which burned north of Mayer, started in late June and burned almost 30,000 acres before it was contained earlier this month. It forced thousands of residents and campers to evacuate Mayer and surrounding areas.

Without trees or vegetation to stop some of it in the burned areas, most of the water went crashing through unimpeded as it headed south. 

McGhee said the flood didn’t kill anyone, and he knew of only two people transported via ambulance — a fact he credited to God. 

Patty Deangelis, a new resident who moved into the trailer park about a week ago, also blamed the Goodwin Fire for the extensive damage. 

“There’s nothing stopping the water flow,” Deangelis said. “Nothing.”

Deangelis said she will stay in the park despite the flood damage. She can’t afford to move, she said. 

McGhee said that fire district and county officials are working on a plan to handle any future floods but conceded that evacuating people was the most they could do right now.

Given the weather, he said there was a good chance trailer-park residents would have to evacuate again soon. 

Tom Thurman, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors chairman, estimated the flood caused well over $1 million in property damage.

Thurman said he has requested that Gov. Doug Ducey declare a state of emergency for the entire county for the rest of the monsoon season because of the wildfire scar. 

Doing so would provide additional resources, including funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of which could assist flood victims without flood insurance.

Thurman said Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Masher has been in contact with Ducey’s staff, and both he and Masher anticipate the governor’s signature.  

‘I don’t know how they got out’

Mayer is 27 miles southeast of Prescott, a community of small hills and homes built along curvy roads. It hugs Arizona 69, with its welcome sign asking travelers to slow down and enjoy the sights.

Scott Nystrom, whose son lives in the Stagecoach Mobile Village, said the flood damage was made worse because two 10-foot trailers were caught underneath a nearby bridge.

Water built up behind them until the trailers exploded from the pressure.

“I don’t know how they (residents) got out,” McGhee said. “But, they were able to get out and get up the side of the mountain, and our crews were able to bring them out.”

Deputy Chief Brain Kotsur of Mesa Fire and Medical and a colleague captured the flood’s flow and damage with a drone. Kotsur said the drone’s camera is equipped with thermal imaging, allowing them to check for bodies within the murky depths. 

None was found.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Mayer High School for evacuees needing a place to go.

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    Goodwin Fire update, June 30, 2017

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    What is that red liquid poured on wildfires?

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    Goodwin Fire evacuee returns to slurry-covered home

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    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey talks about the Goodwin Fire

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    Time-lapse view of the Goodwin Fire burning near Prescott

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    Goodwin Fire: Mayer evacuation lifted

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    Animal Shelter for Goodwin Fire

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    Denny Foulk, Yavapai County Emergency Manager discuss state of emergency at Goodwin Fire

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    Air tanker makes a drop on Goodwin Fire

  • Fire retardant drops on Goodwin Fire

    Fire retardant drops on Goodwin Fire

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    View Goodwin Fire from an airplane

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    Arizona fire grows, more evacuations possible

  • Goodwin Fire, June 28, 2017 morning press briefing

    Goodwin Fire, June 28, 2017 morning press briefing

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    Scenes from the Goodwin Fire in Arizona

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    Fire crews battle the Goodwin Fire

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    Goodwin Fire forces evacuation of Mayer

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    Goodwin Fire helicopter attack

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    Goodwin Fire forces evacuations

  • Goodwin Fire

    Goodwin Fire

  • Watch fire crews drop retardant on the Goodwin Fire

    Watch fire crews drop retardant on the Goodwin Fire

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    How to prepare your family for wildfire season

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Watch family members react to the loss of nine loved ones in Payson flash flood

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