Wednesday, May 4, 1994

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 4, 1994, New Braunfels, Texas WEDNESDAY Cougars rally late to down Rangers Unicorns battle for title 50 CENTS COUNTDOWN 323 DAYS NewBraunfels Sesqulcentenhlal March March NewBraunfels 20 Pages in two sections Wednesday May Serving Com al Cou nty for more than 142 years Home of SCOTT OR AN EN SPECIAL REPORT TORNADOES Local resident recalls 1975 twister ByMARKLYON Managing Editor It took only seconds About five or six seconds as New Braunfels resident James R Reeves figures it In that length of time the home he shared with wife Earleen was destroyed totally That was almost 19 years ago Today and eyery day since then ReeVes heart begins racing eyery time a violent storm is reported in the vicinity The last recorded tor See clfeens nado in New Braunfels counci1 struck 3A ravaging the citys north bee side beginning at Caddell Pa9e 4A Lane near Texas Highway 46 and continuing across Freiheit Road FM1101 and 135 and then across 81 near what is now Frazier Elementary Left behind was at least in dam age in 1975 dollars and numerous families homeless Fortunately no serious injuries occurred Reeves and his wife lived in a mobile home at Wayside Mobile Home Park near in the path of the tornado They had lived there six months just across the street from his son Jim who happened to be away in Blanco with his wife Janet Reeves never saw the tornado which top pled his home He can only describe an ordi nary afternoon which took a mysterious turn forthe worse I was watching the news It was about 6 Reeves recalls In fact I ing the weather on channel five I remember that well because they made no mention of a tornado not even a storm in the wife and our granddaughter were in the kitchen when all of the sudden the lights went out I looked outside and it was just as black as it could be Then it started raining real hard and then it began hailing I started to go and move my truck because I had a new camper top on it But when I went to open the door a big gust of wind hit making a big whooshing sound I had the door handle in my hand The next you know I was on the ceiling with the same door handle in my Reeves said he remembers a loud roaring sound overwhelming him and his family The home anchored by ties rocked back and New Doppler Radar System will enable National Weather Service to spot and track tornadoes fast By ROGER CROTEAU City Editor The steps for which James Reeves was about to step but on Just before a tornado picked i roof still stand In the same place they were before the storm hit Photo courtesy JAMES REEVES his mobile home and dropped It on Its forth a few times before it was pulled into the air and dropped upside down His wife was knocked out after being struck in the head during the incident His granddaughter had fallen under a table and was not hurt Reeves estimates that it was about five sec onds from the moment he approached his door until the moment his home was left destroyed There was no time at he said Almost as soon as I got to the door the wind hit It was a real strong gust that scared me enough to make me change my mind and shut the door Before I could shut the door all the way it had lifted our home in the The tornado wasnt the only probleflPof the day Driving rains which accompanied the winds and hail took its toll as well Over four inches of rain pelted the city in less than an hour causing flooding in many areas of the city including downtown Other noticeable damages throughout the city included a bent flag pole at Goodwin Elementary a tree stuck in the middle of the Mission Valley Mills dam and numerous uprooted trees The storm continued into the western sec tions of Comal County dumping more rain which caused the Guadalupe River to rise by some 17 feet In Bulverde a tornado was reported to have touched down briefly but even so left many trees uprooted damaged several bams The twister dipped down again in Spring Branch and the community of Anhalt leav ing behind a similar scene Reeves said he would like to see the city pursue a siren warning system to lend some advance warning in the event such a disaster returns Id be all for he said We need all the warning we can get We could have used a warning way back then The new Doppler Radar System being installed at the New Braunfels Municipal port will enable the National Weather to much more quickly and accurately spot tor nadoes threatening the area according to Al x Dreumont area manager for the Weather vice The Doppler system will probably be turned on later this week he said The Doppler radar can detect wind speed and direction even on clear days The system currently in use stationed in Hondo cant do that It can only measure the intensity of storms making it much harder to detect a tornado When a tornado hit Crosby north of Housr ton recently our Houston office issued a wan ing 50 minutes before the tornado Dreumont said In November of 1992 the Houston Doppler radar had just come on line and it spotted 12 tornadoes one day All 12 developed and were confirmed Twenty away the old system at Galveston only saw three of them And the lead time the Doppler system gave was greater 25 minutes forthe one that did the most damage Dreumont said having the system stationed in New Braunfels will hot mean better coverage orfaster notification for tornado warnings in New Braunfels than for other areas in the sys tems coverage area He said the resolution is actually the best 60 to 80 miles away from the station and then it drops off slightly out to 125 miles away the limit of the Doppler Closer than 60 miles to the station the resolu tion is very good he said Dreumont said the radar and offices cost about million to install The old radar system was designed in 1957 The Doppler system was designed in 1988 although Doppler radar has existed since World War 11 It is not the Doppler system that is new but the new highspeed computers have made it a very powerful he said I definitely think it saved lives9 Officials in Paris Lancaster believe in the effectiveness of siren warning systems in their communities By ROGER CROTEAU City Editor The people of Paris Texas will remember April 2 1982 forever That was the day a tornado ripped a path of destruction through their town Emergency workers knew the tor nado was coming as they tracked it across the grasslands outside the city as it drew i bead on the city Tornado warnings had been issued all afternoon but there was not much emergency workers could do when they realized the tornado was ready to hit the city Paris had no siren warning system so police cars ambulances and fire trucks started driving the streets lights flashing public address systems blaring out the warning But many people did not get that warning The tornado hit at and in the next eight minutes it ripped a five andahalf mile path through the city killing 11 people injuring 130 destroy ing or damaging hundreds of homes and doing million in damage Like the people of Paris the people of Lancaster Texas will never forget the day last month when a twister ram paged through their city for nine min utes cutting a sixmile swath destroy ing the town square dozens of busi nesses and about 200 homes But Lancaster had a system of sirens to warn the public of the tornados approach Many in that town credit the sirens with saving their lives Three people were killed and 20 injured by the storm I definitely think it saved said LadisBarr Lancasters emergency management coordinator Talking to people we found that the sirens were what alerted 60 to 70 percent of the people in the area of devastation to We had put ing it is Lancaster installed the warning sys tern 12 years ago Barr said it had never been used except for monthly It In our budtests in the eight has bccn to b worth it in the long Barr said He did not anssss triggered at 9 1 1 be Ore and WO probably andthetwister never Then after V Ly th0 tornado hit thay put IntSfcS fir ln the iMldgAT ing residents cru jr 8pcnt on the sys cial time to take D1CK Boots tern but he said shelter Ban said Emergency Management 3SnS mns I feel we would Coordinator Paris Texas JjJJoc have had consider year ably more injuries and deaths than we Paris Texas installed a system of had if we did not have the he five sirens to cover the dty a couple of said It is a proven system It works months after its 1 982 tornado And people sleep better at night know The system cost a little more than and upkeep runs about a year according to Dick Boots Paris emergency management coor dinator We had put it in our budget before the tornado hit but the city council said We havent had one before and we probably never he said Then after the tornado hit they put it back in the Boots said the system has been set off four times since 1982 Twice twisters touched down in the dty once there was straightline winds of up to 100 miles per hour and once a runnel cloud was spotted but did not touch down We only sound it if there is a tor nado or funnel cloud in close proxim ity to the city or inside the city Itself We want people to realize that when they hear it they need to take cover and take it he said There is no doubt about it people do feel safer with the Al Dreumont area manager forthe National Weather Service said that people in cities without a siren system can improve their chances of know ing about a tornado warning by pur chasing a weather radio receiver There are both portable and desk top models When the National Weath er Service issued a weather warning the unit automatically turns on so you can hear the warning even if you do not have a television or radio turned on in the house Radio Shack at the Courtyard Plaza sells two models with weather alert the feature that turns the radio on auto matically when a warning is issued They sell for and The store was out of the model Monday but a new shipment is expcctr ed at the beginning of next week Inside Texas Utters to thi Sports Small Builnaii 8B Birthday wishes from the HeraldZeitungl The Nw Brourfils extends the following birthday wishes to Caroline Strange David Altard Evelyn Chlaholm Relnhart 2ICteIaul Evelyn Dyal Frank VUlwueva Rosemary Erwin P Henk Tom FUaS Donna Maynard Felix Esqulvel John Payton Emily Greenfield Thomas Luke Jeremy Haxard John Kamof Rodrlguei Carmen Reece thy Johnson Jajon Wefca Happy Anniversary to Emll Alzada Helm camp 54 yean weather By The Associated Press Tonight mostly cloudy Low in the upper 60s Southeast wind 6 to 10 mph Wednesday mostly cloudy In the morning partly cloudy In the after noon High In the middle 80s Southeast wind near 10 mph Pollen Count Pwlded by C Hamptl Grass Pecan Haavy 2000 Moderate 18 Light 64 Water Watch Comal River 380 down 16 Edwards Aquifer up 05 Canyon Lake Inflow not available outflow not available For news advertising or subscription information call 6259144 or Metro 6060846