Floods damage burn scar, properties near Dollar Ridge Fire

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah - Just weeks after they were forced to evacuate, victims of the Dollar Ridge Fire faced another kind of disaster as flood waters ravaged Duchesne County on Sunday.

Mother nature’s wrath spared some while others got a double dose of devastation.

Todd and Kelly Adamson are some of the lucky ones.

“We feel really bad for the people who have had losses,” said Kelly Adamson.

Their house survived the Dollar Ridge Fire, so this past weekend, they took their ATV out to assess the damage in their neighborhood. However, while they were out, black soot and debris started pouring down the canyon as rainwater rushed through the burn scar left behind by the blaze.

“The road got absolutely flooded. There was a huge torrent of rain. Water coming down the side canyon, shooting water up the bank,” said Todd Adamson.

After being stranded for three hours, the water finally subsided and thankfully, they had a house to come back to.

“We’re just grateful we came out okay and have a lot of sympathy for those who didn’t,” said Todd Adamson.

Their neighbor, Bob Layton, is one of those people who didn’t.

“This was our dream home,” said Layton.

After more than 28 years working as a Salt Lake City firefighter, Bob and his wife, Lisa, who’s the director of the 911 dispatch in Salt Lake City, built their retirement home from scratch.

“We worked on this for about seven or eight years. Put every ounce of sweat, equity we had to get it to the point where we could come up here so I could retire,” said Layton.

A few weeks ago, they were forced to evacuate.

“They came and said you have 20 minutes to get out,” said Layton.

When they came back, their dream house was gone.

“I fought a lot of structure fires in my life and there was always something standing. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t whole, but something was standing. When we walked in there it was laying on the ground. There wasn’t much to say. Just deal with it,” said Layton.

After Sunday’s flood, Layton got a call with more bad news.

“I hate to tell you this but there’s two feet of water on your property,” said Layton.

Despite the devastation, the Layton’s plan to rebuild.

“We’re just going to put it back together. It’s the only thing that keeps us from dying is looking forward,” said Layton.

However, they wouldn’t be up to the task if it wasn’t for a little help from their friends.

“I can’t tell everybody I love them. They’ll never know how much I appreciate what everybody has done for us. You don’t realize what kind of friends or how good of friends you have until they step up to the plate when you’ve had a devastation and help you through it,” said Layton.