Sunday, December 22, 1991

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 22, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday December 75 cents 23 Serving NEW BRAUNFELS and COMAL COUNTY Home of Les Thorn 3 46 Pages Constant rains flood county Remembering the flood of 72 This camper at the New Braunfels RV under the Interstate 35 bridge in New was found in flooding waters from the Guadalupe River Friday Photo by Robert Stewart Umbrellas and rain gear were the necessities when traveling out of doors this Photo by Bill Ervin Road construction crewswere called to Koehler Street Saturday to temporarily repair a washed out bridge Photo by Bill Ervin This car was swept into a creek bed off of River Road By LARRY ROWE Stall Writer As threatening rains and flood warnings reached their climax Friday many of New Braunfels citizens were forced to recall a similar night 20 years when flood waters took the lives of more than 15 It was a scary Fire Marshal Elroy Friesenhahn said The rains were similar to what they were last because it had been raining and drizzling for days and then it started raining real It was hard to describe I had the feeling that the same type of situation was taking Although new flood control dams and better emergency training have made New Braunfels a much safer city during such weather Friesenhahn said the storm brought up memories of the night in May when he and fellow firefighters grounded at station listened to dispatch calls answered by the other One firefighter was washed into the flood waters on his way to Friesenhahn Later on the following we found his body underneath one of the On that he viewed the damage while assisting police in securing floodzone Houses were destroyed or washed off of their All the houses down in the Landa Estates were just covered with mud and debris if they werent It was just unbelievable all the destruction that water can Council Member Rudy Seidel lived on Rio Drive near Interstate a neighborhood that suffered total devastation from the flood waters of the Guadalupe Seidel said his family managed to escape before the situation became lifethreatening because they mistakenly thought his wife was having a heart attack and tried to Problem ity and county road crews have been busy barricading major in and around New Some of those areas ncluded Post Road Koehler Street Lands Street 81 Interstate 35 FarmtoMarket 725 take her to the After they several neighbors were killed by the flood when their houses were swept from the foundations and smashed together like The next we went to where our house used to Seidel It was very hard to find where it even was because all these houses were utilities were a lot of the trees were There was debris When I saw devastation on always I can imagine how those people but you you cant imagine until its to Don a member of the Elks Lodge who helped rescue flood victims on that recalled the sight of drowning cows stuck in fences as he and others maneuvered a boat through a residential area near the Dry Comal He said they rescued one elderly X couple from a home at the end of Hickory Avenue who were reluctant to leave their When we got they had two or three feet of water in the and we had to go pick them up and put them in the Jackson Emergency officials mobilizing to ward off dangers from flooding By ROBERT STEWART SUM Writer Rising floodwaters in New Braunfels and surrounding areas caused by more than 13 inches of rain since Tuesday had local emergency agencies mobilizing to deal with impassable roads and stranded We had no major said Elroy New Braunfels fire There were five incidents where we had to get people out of their cars where streets had flooded and one incident where lightening struck a transformer at 81 and Walnut We did call in the off duty personnel who live in the city to come to the central station and be on Once we got that all the rain started to It was a good exercise for The Emergency Operations Center at the New Braunfels Police Department was quickly put into action to coordinate Extra personnel were activated by the New Braunfels Police Fire Department and Street Department to respond to the highwater We kept over the day shift and we worked doubleshift until about 11 said Felix We were jftusy but we managed pretty We were able to keep anybody from getting hurt that was our primary Rpque added that police worked closely with the Street Department to barricade impassable I just feel real comfortable that if the situation ever does get worse that well be ready to Syring Im just real ecstatic with the way the operations have gone so New Braunfels Fire Chief Phil Baker said that the citys volunteer firefighters and all the offduty professional firefighters were called in at Basically we were rescuing people in lowwater Baker For more coverage see Page 2A We had a couple of regular ambulance calls in the middle of Some locations were hard to reach by ambulance because of high Baker We had a couple of places where we had to respond from the other side with a different EMS Baker adding that the firetrucks generally dont have any trouble getting We established crews and setup some response teams with our swiit water rescue people on the Baker They didnt actually have to go out and do anything in the They were basically just helping stranded motorists whose cars stalled Weve got the type of personnel who say lets go do something to Friesenhahn Friesenhahn said that while officials did not evacuate anybody from their nine people who felt uncomfortable with the rising water did go to the National Guard Armory where the Red Cross had established an evacuation We had the shelter started at 8 and we were there until said Darren chairman of Disaster Services for the Red Cross in New There were some people evacuated but they chose to stay the night with friends and The armory was chosen for the shelter Friday night because access to downtown locations was uncertain because of Brinkkoeter Weve had such heavy rains in the local area we have the potential for some major problems if the rains just happen to hit said John general manager of GuadalupeBlanco River Authority the agency that determines the water release from Canyon Lake We will continue to monitor and operate the systems to keep everything moving through as rapidly as we can without having any unnecessary impacts on local Specht said the GBRA cannot simply release all water to go downstream and cant cut off all flow from the Canyon Lake Dam to reduce the amount of water in New Everything is open and being coordinated to pass the water as efficiently as we Specht There are no flood control structures downstream and so all we can do is try to pass the waters as they The Canyon Dam release presently is just a little over 200 cubic feet per second and that is needed to maintain the upper portion of the The GBRA is an organization that develops water operates facilities to manage river flow and conserves water The GBRA works in conjunction with the Corps of the National Weather Service and governmental Specht Sometimes the local tributaries are coming in so heavy and causing some localized flooding theres really nothing that can be done about Specht Once the flow exceeds the normal capability of the river to carry its going to begin to go over banks in With a little bit of luck maybe this thing wont catch us with another major storm The Canyon Lake reservoir and the small floodreiarding structures that have been constructed on tributaries like the Dry Comal Blieders Creek and York Creek are designed to prevent major flooding further Certainly theyre helpful and there is no danger right at this moment of a major flood Specht if il rains a great deal very then you could have some very serious he Its a dangerous but at this point everything is in pretty good We just have such unusual circumstance occurring Good Day City barricading local roadways There continues to be a high chance of rain The clearing should begin on For more weather information see Page Inside By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer City road crews put up every road barricade they could find Friday night after storm clouds unleashed another four and a half inches of rain over New causing road closings and The thunderstorm on this fourth evening of rain caused road caveins on Santa Clara Walnut and Landa Street after saturated soil beneath the pavement City Engineer Bill Dobrowolski These have been temporarily repaired with base but will not be what youd consider a real good passable road because they may soften with more he New Braunfels received inches of rain in a 24hour period ending ai 7 and the total amount since Tuesday night was We wont be able to assess lot of road damage for several days after it stops because it doesnt have a traffic load on it to make it Dobrowolski Michael Thomas to out the Photo Bill irvtn Carriers fighting inclement weather As the rains continued to fail the past few earners that deliver the HeraldZeitung have been all Since some of the carriers have not been able tp pass through rising water to deliver some of the said Circulation Manager Carol Ann I imagine maybe 50 to 100 households have gone without a paper during the wet she while some people have not received their Avery said the earners are keeping track of that she quickly as they can they will get in there with all of toe jshe Fox mw information about deliveries caJJ