Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Creekside Cabins a ‘Public Health Menace’—Inspectors Find RVs Draining Sewage Into Nearby Creek

The welcome sign to the Creekside Cabins now points into the sinkhole that has changed the course of the property’s future [All photographs taken by Matt LaFever]

The County of Mendocino has announced the imminent closure of the Creekside Cabins, an RV park north of Willits that has become the center of public attention after a sinkhole cut off the road in and out of the property over two weeks ago. 

A press release provided by the County today described Code Enforcement finding multiple health risks associated with feces and sewage on Friday, January 20, 2023. These findings have triggered Mendocino County Public Health to deem the property a ‘public health menace’ and order its immediate closure.

The County of Mendocino will be installing a temporary bridge providing tenants with a window to exit the property from Wednesday, January 25 at 8:00 a.m. until Thursday, January 26 at 5:00 p.m.

Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren released a “Declaration of Local Health Emergency” associated with the property outlining the conditions that warranted the immediate closure of the property. 

Coren states that yesterday’s site inspection found sewage from multiple RVs pooling on the ground. Inspectors also found RVs draining their sewage directly into or in the direction of the creek that runs along the property.

The washed-out roadway has left critical services such as “emergency response, septic processing, garbage collection, propane delivery, medical supply delivery, and food delivery” unable to access the fifty-plus residents of the park.

An SUV is now stuck in a creek after a stir-crazy tenant attempted to build a makeshift bridge to exit the property

Teresa Thurman, the owner of the Creekside Cabins, has denied any responsibility to repair the culvert and roadway that has left her tenants unable to enter or exit the property. A number of lawsuits dating back over a decade revolve around disputes over her practices as a landlord. 

We have continued to reach out to Thurman for opportunities to comment on the situation, but she stopped responding after we requested her comments be provided to us via text or email. When this reporter made a visit to the Creekside property land Sunday, January 16, 2023, Thurman immediately approached and escorted us off the property.

Garbage piling up because sanitation trucks are unable to enter the property

Janet Hagins, a long-time resident of Creekside told us she thinks these reported health concerns are a “scare tactic” from the county. The property’s water quality has always been tested monthly, she told us, and the most recent tests indicated the water “was fine”.

Hagins lives with her husband who suffers from health problems. She said that as the window to exit the property approaches, “There are some [residents] that plan on leaving but the rest of us have no place and no funds.” When the County of Mendocino came to offer services and aid to residents in their search for housing, Hagins described it as “just numbers to call and lists to get on.”

The full text of the County’s most recent press release describing the health hazards and Dr. Coren’s declaration can be found below:

On Friday, January 20th, representatives of Mendocino County Code Enforcement and Environmental Health conducted an inspection of the conditions at Creekside Cabins near Willits. The County obtained a warrant for the inspection after being refused entry by the property owner and posted the warrant for the 24-hour period required by state law. Friday afternoon and evening, Mendocino County Public Health Officer Andrew Coren reviewed the results of the inspection for risk to human health and safety.

Mendocino County Public Health has determined that the conditions at Creekside Cabins create an immediate menace to public health due to the presence of exposed sewage and other hazards. The area encompassing the entirety of Creekside Cabins, has been ordered closed pursuant to Penal Code section 409.5(a). The temporary bridge to exit the property will be available to residents as soon as Wednesday, January 25 at 8:00 AM. Residents may remain until Thursday, January 26 at 5:00 PM only for the purposes of evacuating or preparing to evacuate themselves and their possessions or otherwise remediating the hazards. Nonresidents may enter for the same purposes with prior permission from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Persons seeking permission to enter should call 707-510-5324.

Any person entering or remaining at this location does so at their own risk. Persons doing so should be advised that the conditions at this location create a risk of exposure to unsafe levels of waterborne bacteria which can cause infections of the gastrointestinal tract, skin rashes, and other infectious diseases. Symptoms of gastrointestinal disease may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools or emesis, abdominal pain, fever, dehydration, weakness and mental status changes. Skin contact with these bacteria, especially open wounds, may cause inflammation and infection showing redness, swelling, pustules, pain and exudates. These problems could progress, if untreated, to internal disease such as sepsis (blood-born infection) and ultimately death. Anyone exposed who experiences gastrointestinal symptoms should drink plenty of water and those experiencing skin infections should wash the areas frequently and thoroughly with soap and water and contact their personal physician. In case of emergency, contact 911 for immediate medical care.

For further information, please see the attached Public Health Order.

1.21.23-Press-Release-Creekside-Cabins-Closure-

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16 COMMENTS

  1. And so Mendocino County will make many more homeless for their own safety in a county at war with the poor. You cannot camp, you cannot live in your car. Are there no workhouses are there no prisons? But they can spend millions on a new jail and court house.
    “work makes free” was the sign at Nazi Camps and Mendo is using Hitler’s tool box against the poor.

    • Arbeit macht frei. Work sets you free. It wasn’t just the Nazis. Those signs hung over many of Stalin’s Gulags in Russia. It was a phrase Stalin loved to use. I’ve even seen that sign hanging in a Sonoma County business at Occidental Leather. Many years ago.

      • Hitler did not live in a vacuum. He had lost of help from the USA, IBM and Ford, and the list goes on

        • Nazis, Hitler, Stalin, conspiracy theories? Perfectly related to washed out roads, bad landlords & hazardous conditions in a trailer park? You nitwits need to save your Qanon crap for the monthly reject roundtable you must be holding.

          • The Nazi’s did fix Germany’s economy as they took away civil rights one at a time. The schizophrenics were the first mass killings with automotive exhaust. If you bother to read history beyond school propaganda.

  2. Maybe he needed some kind of help. He did knock on the door and then back up away from the door. He looked like he needed some kind of help. I wonder what his explanation is.

    I’m NOT saying you should’ve opened up your door. Nowadays that’s a bad idea, I get that.

  3. “Teresa Thurman, the owner of the Creekside Cabins, has denied any responsibility to repair the culvert and roadway that has left her tenants unable to enter or exit the property. A number of lawsuits dating back over a decade revolve around disputes over her practices as a landlord.” I remember when the state/county or feds used to seize the properties of illegal cannabis growers in the 70’s and 80’s, what about this Thurman woman? Take her property! She’s a criminal slumlord!!

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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