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River Fire survivors clean up after burn scar flooding in Colfax

Some property owners that lost homes in the River Fire, chose to ignore flash flood evacuation orders and rode out the storm instead.

COLFAX, Calif. — Homeowners in Colfax were happy to see the rain finally go away on Monday, but it didn’t come without a long day of cleanup that followed the historic rain storms on Sunday.

“It could just wipe you out in seconds if you’re not careful," Becky Ishmael, a homeowner in Colfax, said.

Ishmael was recording a video of a mudslide off of Ben Taylor Road with her husband Scott, moments after getting the emergency alert to evacuate.

“It’s small compared to some of the things we’ve seen lately," she said.

They lost their home in the River Fire back in August and returned back to the property about a month later to live in a camper and start the rebuilding process.

On Sunday, they chose to ride out the storm.

“It’s just some of the outlying trees that the fire damaged. They fell all night and we could hear it. We had branches fall on the trailer during the night and that was scary, so we didn’t sleep well. It was fun to watch but not something you want to camp in," she said.

Other than several downed trees, a whole lot of mud and some leaks in the camper windows, they made it out OK.

“This year needs to go away; everybody’s had a tough year," Dennis Acmoody, a Colfax homeowner, said.

Acmoody also lost one of the homes on his 20 acres of land to the River Fire.

“This was bone dry 12 hours before the storm hit, and it filled up really quick," he said.

He watched as the water came within inches of the man-made bridge he built on his property that’s been washed out once before. But when the evacuation order came on Sunday, he refused to leave.

“It’s home. I mean if I can stop something from getting worse, I’m gonna try and stop it, and if I can’t, then I’m going to watch it go. But I’m not leaving," he said.

The evacuation order was lifted just before 1 p.m. on Monday. According to the Placer County Sheriff's Office, Ben Taylor Road is still closed due to PG&E work.

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