New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 27, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Vol. 140. No. 27
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By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
The outflow from the Calyon Luke dom into the Guadalupe River was increased to 2,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Priday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began draining the reservoir's flood pool, said David Quebedeaux, U.S. Ranger at Canyon Lake..
"The Hydrology Engineering Department of the Corps of Engineers in Fort Worth has advised us as to the gate changes J Quebedeaux said.
The floodgate changes were initiated at 10:30 a.m. Friday to gradually bring the flow up to 2,500 cfs over 4*6 hours. The flow will be increased Saturday to approximately 5,000 cfs "and it may be a little bit more”, Quebedeaux said.
Quebedeaux said that the only predicted effect on downstream areas would be at the Gruene River bridge. That crossing was barricaded by city crews at IO a.m. in anticipation of the release.
Outflow on Dec. 23 was 240 cfs. On Dec. 24 the flow was reduced to 90 cfs where it remained on Dec. 25. Thursday the flow was increased to 1,100 cfs, Quebedeaux said.
The level of the Canyon Lake Reservoir rose into the flood pool stage following a week of heavy* rains in die hill country.
Gradual water releases from the dame are used to bring the take back down to conservation pool or normal level, said Sally Werst, public affairs officer for the Corps of Engineers.
The New Braunfels Herald Zeitung sends belated birthday wishes to Hector Ozuna.
Troutfest 1992. sponsored by the city of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled for Jan. 9-19 at the Landa Park Olympic Pool.
The program is for the disabled and other Comal County residents who fish for rainbow trout and a new addition to the program — 5-to 7-pound catfish.
There is no charge for the disabled. The Ice is $3 for a child’s pass and $5 for an adult's pass, bach pass purchased will he good to catch up to IO fish. Additional fish may he caught with the purchase of another pass.
Times for the Troutfest are 4 8 p m. weekdays and IO a.iii.-8 p.m. weekends.
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Short circuit linked to lint fire
By ROBERT STEWART 8t«ff Writer
The cause of a fire at the West Point Pepperell Mission Valley Mill was a short circuit in a major electrical junction box, says New Braunfels Fire Chief Phil Baker.
Mlt just so happens that it was right below the main intake for the air handling system,” Baker said. “When the short occurred in the junction box there was probably a large amount of heat and sparks that ignited the lint in that area. Cotton lint is very flammable — it doesn’t take much.”
Baker said the Fire Department’s response in managing and controlling the fire was “real good” in what he termed a “manpower-intensive” operation.
“We had no major problems after we got the off-duty folks and the mutual aid people there — we could have probably used some more people but we could always use
some more people,” he said. “All firefighting is very manpower-intensive. When you have a plant that big you can put 50 people in there and they hardly take up enough room to do anything. We were spread pretty thin.”
Personnel from the McQueeney and Lake Dunlap volunteer fire departments assisted fire personnel at the scene.
The original Mission Valley Mill building was constructed in 1921 and has had additions added many times over the years. The design of the building may have contributed to the fire’s burning at five different locations, Baker said.
“I guess you could call (the fire) unique — almost any structure that has a lot of additions has hidden spaces (that serve as) the path of travel for the fire,” Baker said. "There’s probably some things that West Point could do.”
Some modern innovations in
building fire control might have controlled the spread of the mill fire, he said.
Heat and smoke activated dampers are available that close down air ducts and vents, thereby blocking the fire path, Baker said. This type of device is widely used in hospitals where fire walls are breached by vents. There are also modem sprinkler systems that spray above the ceiling as well as below.
In yesterday’s mill fire, much of the flame activity was between the ceiling and the roof, which made the fire difficult to attack, he said. Water was sprayed from below and holes were chopped in the roof to attack from above.
“Everything is moving very well as far as getting everting back in operation,” said Bill Morton, vicepresident of manufacturing for the mill. “Some wiring had to be replaced but it’s just a clcan-up basically.”
The main damage occurred in the weaving and finishing areas, Morton said.
Morton added that he can’t praise the Fire Department enough for their service under difficult conditions.
“They had done their homework and did an excellent job,” he said.
“We do an annual inspection there and they have always been willing to comply with our desires as far as fire protection,” Baker said. “They are very fire conscious.” The textile business is notorious for fires due to the combustibility of the materials.
"They have little fires there all the time (called loom fires),” Baker said. “Their people take care of them — they have their own fire brigade with fire equipment that they put into use on a regular basis. They are relatively well-protected for a business that large.”
Baker added that if the plant had
T’was the day after Christmas and already time tor a new special
occasion. Art Altwem ot the New Braunfels K Mart store is readying heart-shaped St. Valentine's Day candy boxes for display on some shelves while other shelves still display Christmas items. (Photo by Bill Ervin)
been in operation, there’s a good chance the Fire Department might never have been called.
“If there had been somebody there, they probably would have cut the power off and put out any little fire that was there — and we probably wouldn’t even have heard about it.”
The Fire Department has been called to the plant in the past to assist with a chlorine leak relating to the West Point Pepperell’s inhouse water purification system.
“They do have a chlorine leak response team in the plant and have assisted us in training our people.” Baker said.
West Point Pepperell also sent a chemist to help the Department when a hazardous chemical spill occurred at a local car dealer. The company has also volunteered to provide a person to serve on the city’s hazardous materials team, Baker said.
By LARRY ROWE Staff Writer
The new surface water treatment plant on Gruene Road was off-line for two days this week after flood waters dumped mud into the part of the system that takes water from the Guadalupe River.
While the plant was out of operation, the city’s water was drawn from five of the Edwards Aquifer welts that served as the sole water supply before the plant was built, officials said The new system was constructed this summer and fall to help conserve the aquifer’s resources by providing an alternative through treated river water.
"We have an alternative source of water for this community and when one source or another has problems, we can always go hack to the other source.” said Boh Sohn, general manager for New Braunfels Utilities.
“Since the two of them are not related, it’s the best of both worlds," he said, explaining that if the Edwards' Aquifer ever becomes contamuiaicd, the treatment plant can take over, just as the aquifer wells did in this case.
The treatment plant’s filters were clogged when heavy rain dislodged dirt around the structure and sent it into the wet wells where river waler is captured, filtered and pumped to be treated, said Kevin Collins, water production superimcndcni for New Braunfels Uuluics.
The dirt Ijad been excavated to install the plant s structure during us construction, and alter workers puured the concrete, the dirt was put back around the building, Collins said "As much ram as we had. something s got to give. atli it was the din that gave,'' he said.
Sohn said the plant can process muddy watei line. "It s made to do that, except that we vc got an unusual amount ol silt and mud into the suuctuie that we have to get out of there."Good Day Economy could stall bond election
Clouds will he moving out this afternoon and the high temperature is expected to reach 53 degrees. The overnight low will dip down to about 34 degrees.In* Wa:
RELIGION FOCUS .......9
"A recension is when you're hurting financially; a depression is when your husband loses his job, or your wife loses her job. And right now we've got a lot of people in that situation."
By LARRY ROWE Blaff Writer
New Biaunfels City Council members who conducted four district town meetings this month on a possible bond issue gave difieniig views chi the idea alter many citizens opiated ll at the meet mgs
Mayor Clinton Hiandl said the question of whether a boral election should occur will be decided later lifter city officials determine how critical some of the proposed capital improvements are
“We're in kind of tuud times right now, and that's a decision that will have to be made as we go along," lie said
Council members Paul Fraser and Rudy Seidel said they do not think the citizens want a bond issue “Tile general feeling I get is that people are run ready fur a bond issue or a bond election,” Fraser said, explaining thai the depressed economy has made it hard for citizens to “get around their lax bite and still make a living "
“It's like a lady said al the District 2 meeting," he said. “A recession ii when you’re hurting financially; a
depression is when your husband loses his job, or your wife loses her job Arid right now we've got a bt of people in that situation. ... A bond issue that would lead lo increased taxation is probably not the answer at this moment."
Seidel said most of the people at hts district's town meeting seemed to oppose a bond issue “They'd rather go without some services than tray more taxes.”
He said the ideal situation would
have the city pay mg lot drainage and street repairs by working them into the budget (athel than issuing bonds.
Council iiicmbei Ramon Chapa Jr. said a bond issue would be a good way to take care of serious drainage arid su eel problems in his disuici on the west side of the city.
"Some of the improvements over here are so massive that it s going to take a bond issue to acquire the necessary funds," he said.
Chapa said the citizens should vote
on whether to have a bond issue, but he stated his suppoii lor the idea "When it comes to infrastructure, the longei you wail to maintain and niipiove it, the lingo the bill is gouig to be at the end of the road."
Council rnembei Loraine Krait said sue felt the "ovaa1) picture was not rn favor of a bond issue at this lime” because of the current economic outlook,
But she said she heard at the same time citizens say they wanted improvements that would require a boral issue.
"I think a lot of people are going to at least have to be open minded enough," Kraft sard.