Thunderstorm leaves Prosser residents in a muddy mess - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Thunderstorm leaves Prosser residents in a muddy mess

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PROSSER, WA - Mud flow from last night's storm made for one big mess today. People woke in Prosser to find mud covering roads, driveways, and even their yards. Reporter Rex Carlin went out to see the damage for himself.

If you stand at the road closed sign at Richards Road and SR-22 just outside of Prosser, you wouldn't realize anything's wrong. But if you go just up the road and around the corner, the residents are stuck in a muddy mess.

"It was about knee-high, so it was a pretty significant amount of water," said Mathew Davis. He and his wife Rachael woke up in the middle of the night to a bad dream.

"Walked down the hill behind the house and saw about 18 inches of water rushing around the barn, and the whole culvert and drainage area was totally overflowing."

Water and mud, still silty from last summer's fire season, tore through the Richards Road neighborhood overnight. When residents woke up, homes and garages were flooded, roads torn out, and lots and lots of mud everywhere.

"It comes through this culvert underneath that driveway and then it works its way up here and it actually drifts down into that pipe," Davis said. "Now that pipe has actually filled up a little bit due to that flooding, but as of yesterday there was only six of seven inches of it that was open."

Rex Carlin spoke with Benton County officials today, who say they did come out on Monday and estimated about a third of the culvert to be blocked. The force of this was powerful; powerful enough to do damage on just about everything in its path.

"Fences are being broken," said Stephen Sears, another victim of the mudslide. "Neighbors' signs and posts and fencing, chunks of it are in the yard or out in the pasture. We've been picking stuff up and sorting it out all morning."

This morning, the whole neighborhood was out in force starting the cleanup effort...because in this community, like many others, if something bad happens to your neighbor you give them a hand.

"Luckily we've got great neighbors and everybody's here to help each other out."