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Doney Park home filled with inches of mud, family hit with back-to-back tragedies

Posted at 10:11 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 13:15:02-04

FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Flash flooding down the Pipeline burn scars sent at least two inches of mud through a home in Doney Park, further impacting a family hit with back-to-back tragedies.

Doney Park residents Bret and Cecilia Henneman had their home inundated with floodwaters and thick sediment.

RELATED: Flash flooding remains a concern for Pipeline Burn Scar, portions of Yavapai County

The family, who has lived in the home for over a decade, just lost their son a few weeks ago, followed by a car accident just a couple of days ago.

"Everything has been overwhelming the last few weeks,” said Bret Henneman, while holding back tears. “A number of challenges — my son passed away less than three weeks ago, took my wife to the hospital last week, we were in an accident a couple nights ago, and now the flooding throughout the entire house.”

A neighbor of the Hennemans started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help raise money for the family.

"Our neighbors are the sweetest and help others constantly," they wrote in a post. "Their family has been through so many horrific events in the past 2 months this is the last thing they needed. From COVID, to a car crash, to the loss of a loved one, and the recent evacuation from the fire, their house was their pride and joy.”

Officials with Coconino County said they are aware of 10 homes that had flooding into the garage but weren’t aware of other flood reports.

Coconino County has posted online maps with detailed recommendations for each home at risk, including sandbag wall dimensions, placement, and estimated number of bags to use. They say in total they will need around one million sandbags across the eastern part of the county.

The Coconino County Flood Control District has put out an urgent request for volunteers to help with sandbags.

Requirements for all volunteers are:

  • Must be at least 14 years of age
  • Must be able to lift 35 pounds / 16 kilograms 
  • Must be wearing closed-toe shoes – no sandals
  • Please bring heavy-duty work gloves, hat, sunscreen, and a refillable water bottle
  • Long-sleeve t-shirts are also recommended for sun protection outdoors

With very little monsoon activity in the forecast for the Schultz-Pipeline Flood Area for this weekend, this is an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors by producing sandbags as well as assisting with placing sandbags at the homes of elderly and the disabled. Anyone with some time to donate in encouraged to sign up and help out.

For more information, click here.

Despite calling urgently for volunteers, a spokesperson for the county said they’re also utilizing state resources.

“We have mobilized State-level resources through the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management and the Department of Corrections, which is providing work crews from the AZ State Prison Complex in Winslow.,” said a spokesperson by email.