Mary Mosteller and her husband lived in their dream home only three weeks before Monday night’s flash flood filled their first floor with water, dirt and debris.

The water rose about five feet at the highest point, filled their garage and first-floor rooms and carried four motor vehicles and a few all-terrain vehicles downstream to the Hat Six Ranch east of Casper. By Tuesday morning, the water had receded and left behind a muddy mess.

“When we started building it we had the [Casper Mountain] fires,” Mosteller said. “Now we finished it and moved in and we have floods.”

Areas downstream of the Sheep Herder Hill Fire burn scar faced an extra risk of flooding. Rainfall that is normally absorbed is more likely to run off because burned soil lacks vegetation, according to the National Weather Service.

Brett McDonald, with the NWS Riverton Weather Forecast Office, said flash floods occurred east of Casper after the area received a half inch to three quarters of an inch of rain Monday night.

“When that amount of rain falls in less than an hour, more like a 20- to 30-minute window, that’s more than enough water to cause flooding on a burn scar area,” he said.

Emergency officials reported flooding on the east side of Casper about 8:40 p.m., according to the Riverton NWS. Water crossed Second Street and Hat Six Road near the Clear Fork of Muddy Creek, and there were reports of hail on the east side of the city.

The Mosteller home and ranch on Hat Six Road were close enough to the mountain and creek to be in the path of those flood waters. When the rain started, Mosteller said the water ran through the normal mountain runoff channels. But about 15 minutes later, a spout of black water rushed down the mountain toward their house.

“I just thought, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to be washed out with my house,” she said. “I’ve never felt anything like that before.”

Mosteller said she felt trapped as the debris-filled water encircled the house, pushing in one garage door and out another. At one point, the water briefly came up to the main door.

She and her husband watched from windows on the second floor, which acts as the main floor of their house, as the water rushed past for more than an hour.

Lt. Stewart Anderson, emergency management coordinator for Natrona County, waded through the leftover rock and mud on Tuesday to survey damage at Hat Six Ranch, where the Mosteller vehicles ended up.

Anderson said the area also lost power, which was restored by Tuesday. The flash flood damaged at least four homes and the area is still at risk of flooding if more rain falls.

“We’re just seeing what the weather will do the next few days,” he said.

The NWS forecast for today includes a chance of isolated thunderstorms, and the rest of the week will continue in a similar manner. Thursday through Saturday there is a chance of thunderstorms with a 20 percent chance of rain.

Jason Anglin, with the Riverton NWS office, said a combination of moisture coming from the southwest and low pressure systems moving through the region have increased the chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

“We’re just kind of in an active pattern,” he said.

A slight high pressure system will move through central Wyoming the next few days, although Anglin said it won’t eliminate the chance for storms, and another low pressure system will likely bring a wave of storms this weekend.

Reach city reporter Kelly Byer at 307-266-0639.

(19) comments


poor planning are the blame for this one. some where someone should have checked to see the flood plan for this area. how often its flooded in the past, present and expected. this is the jobs of planning and zoning when homes are being built. im sorry about her home but buyer bewhere, its not all sunshine and roses for prime river real estate. and planners do need to read up on what is in the records before issueing building permits.


Wow Mouse I think the planing commision needs to investigate your brain, this area is not on the river and there would have been no problem if there hadn't been a fire. Unfortunatly the house was almost finished when the fire hit. Um can you say mother nature! I am not defending the planners but you jump to to many conclusions when you know absolutly nothing about what your printing. Sorry Mosteller's may you and your new home recover.


First off, it is clear that you have no idea what you are talking about and your complete ignorance is somewhat amusing. I appreciate your uneducated viewpoint.
It is obvious you have never been to the area nor do you know the families involved. I can see why. These are two outstanding families and pillars of the community of Casper.
May I make a few suggestions? First, buy a map of the area. Second, buy a dictionary, and maybe a book or two about the county. Third, pray that you can someday be a good enough person to be worthy of the company of any of the families involved.


Clearly for housemouse.


@thehousemouse- What happens if the wind rips your shingles and siding off? I guess we all will remind you that you have thought about that before building in Casper! That would definatly be poor planning on your part!


Im absolutely taken back by what I am reading. How dare you say its their fault! Did they ask for a fire last year and now a FLASH FLOOD.... Mother Nature doesnt ask for permission and doesnt tell people what her plans are. These families have worked so had the last year rebuilding from the fire and now to start all over again never asking for an ounce of help from anyone. They pulled together as a family and have done it all! Heaven forbid something tragic should happen to you or your property but if it did these families wohld be the first to help you rather then judge and make snarky remarks!


@thehousemouse, it's probably a good idea to remove your comment, or at least take a look at what you wrote, It's clear you have no idea what your talking about.


I don't think you can delete your comments after they are posted. It might be nice, if we could. I would love to be able to edit my comments to fix rushed posting spelling and grammar errors.


@thehousemouse maybe you should do a little research before you spout off at the mouth. The Mosteller Ranch was homesteaded over 100 years ago and three generations have been born and raised on this ranch. Can you honestly say that this was something they evaluated over 100 years ago before considering homesteading any land? The fire from last year is a huge factor in this, I have been a part of this family for 20 years & nothing of this magnitude has ever happened. You really need to get your facts before running your mouth!!


The uneducated and ignorant comments kill me. The families on these ranches are some of the most wonderful I have ever met and have been homesteaded for generations. I have had the pleasure of spending time at one of the ranches as a child growing up and now as an adult I have been able to spend time on the other one. I cannot express how sad this makes me to see and hear about. The strength of these families pulling together after they almost lost everything last year with the fire AND NOW this year with the floods is inspiring. Thoughts and prayers with you all and I know you will make it out of this stronger than ever.


thehousemouse, aka car lover, and possibly sober 22

This comment that you have left will forever seal any doubts about your complete lack of knowledge of any kind. You've been writing misspelled, off topic dung or years, and you have finally proven beyond the shadow of ANY doubt that you are not to be listened to, and that your opinion means nothing.

IE: Your Opinion is worthless, no one will listen to you after this obnoxious garbage.

It's about time.You owe the people that you insulted today a public apology. Shame on you. You coldhearted, senseless troll


I think you misunderstand my comments. this was no attack on the families period. this was simply making a statement. that this town is allowing building in flood zones. example the robertson road area subdivisions. its in a flood prone zone, flash flooding is a common thing in wyoming , so when building you have to be very carefull about locations you choose. the 2nd point, our planning department has many problems, one of which was stated by a planner himself not two months ago to the board of county commissioners. wrong photogaphs and imformation in files, thats the only points i was making. i was not wishing problems for these guys, only stating a fact that untill we have a fully functional and correct method for our planners in this county. things like this will continue to happen.


I housemouse apologize for saying anything that may have hurt anyone feelings.

jack wolf
jack wolf

If your property has seen flooding in the past, expect more with a changing climate, regardless of your position in the landscape.

And, since flood mapping can be tweeked, check the soil survey for your area. If its an alluvial, a flood plain or stream terrace soil, well, there you have it.

Colluvial isn't very good either not that I think about it.


I live on the Hat Six Ranch and have my whole life. In over 50 years my family has never seen anything like this so poor planning is not the case. These houses that you say should not have been approved to be built were started before the fire. Before the fire there was trees and vegetation to hold the water. After the fire there is nothing which is why it flooded so bad. It is impossible to plan for a fire one year and flood the next. And also check for past I said my family has lived here for 3 generations and Mostellers even longer and have never seen or experienced and flood like this. My family and neighbors who are very dear friends of ours do not need this. We are devastated once again by mother nature. While dealing with this event we do not need the rude comments. For one its none of your business and two its not even your problem so your opinion is not appreciated. Thank you everyone who came to our defense it means a lot.


i said i was sorry i was only talking about flood areas in general. Glad to know we have such forgiving people around us. if people can not make a mistake and apologize for it and have it accepted like an adult then i guess im glad i dont live over there sounds alittle to snooty for me anyway.


You may have said sorry but during your "apology" you repeated almost exactly what you said to get everyone upset in the first place. Snooty? No we just have each others backs its called family. My opinion your just jealous.


Pretty much what can be expected from a recent transplant who cares nothing about our wonderful state.


the housemouse/car lover, and/or sober 21,

The first reply you made didn't say anything about an apology. It wasn't until an hour later that you thought maybe you should apologize. You said that you thought that we misunderst6ood you. We understood you the first time.

You apologized for your words that you wrote in error of the facts.If any of us thought that you had the slightest remorse. Most people, after an apology, make an attempt not to repeat the same offense again. I have no doubt that you will continue to write replies to letters as though you knew it all. You are an egomaniac with an inferiority complex.

Please do everyone in Casper a favor. Be quiet as a mouse.

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