New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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New Braunfels june 14.2011Herald ^Zeitung
herald-2eitung.com SERVING NEW BRAUNFELS SINCE 1852Flood Vould be a lot different now9
City Council hears study about Panther Canyon deluge
By WIN Wright
On June 9, 2010, runoff from a 12-inch downpour cascaded down from the top of the hills overlooking Ranther Canyon, flooding Landa Park.
In its continuing effort to fix what went wrong with
drainage that day, the New Braunfels City Council heard the results of the (Anther Canyon study and recommendations on how to correct runoff that deluged the area.
Jeff Moeller, the primary engineer with Moeller and Associates, delivered a 15-minute presentation outlining the cause and effect, and possible suggestions to alleviate future occurrences
during council's meeting Monday night.
Several events combined to form a "perfect storm" for Panther Canyon that day, Moeller said.
First, there was the large
amount of rain and runoff over a very short period of time. Second, the retention pond around the West-pointe Village shopping center wasn't yet complete, sending down drainage-
blocking debris. And third, there remains a lack of vegetation that might have slowed force of the runoff.
Moeller said the development, located at the Highway 46/Loop 337 intersection, had little to
See FLOOD. Page 8
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State’s agriculture, local waterways affected by long drought j - fireworks
City: Fourth of July celebration poses fire risk in drought
By Dalondo Moultrie
The City of New Braunfels has postponed its annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Landa Park because it poses a fire threat, city authorities said.
"Protecting the safety and property of our citizens is always our primary concern," City Manager Michael Morrison said in a written statement released Monday.
"The elevated fire danger is a serious concern and we have taken this measure after conferring with city fire officials."
Morrison said it would lie imprudent to put residents, visitors and firefighters in harm's way.
New Braunfels Fire Chief John Robinson agreed.
"We believe the exceptionally dry conditions we are experiencing — and our concern for public safety as well as the safety of our personnel — dictates that we must postpone the display to a time when weather conditions allow for a safe show that can be enjoyed Jiy our community," Robinson said in the written statement.
The fireworks display will he rescheduled and will include a free concert on the Landa Pbrk Dance Slab.
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Extension agent: ‘It’s really too late for the crops’
By WIN Wright
Comal County Extension Agent Glenn Avriett said the impact of the current drought has already adversely affected agriculture and livestock in the area.
"We've had some rain, but very little since November," Avriett said. "Both the pasture and range situations are pretty desperate. We didn't have a lot of spring
growth because we didn't have any fall rains, and now we've missed the spring rains to get any additional growth."
Avriett said area farmers and ranchers are facing a dilemma. They've got to decide whether to keep feeding or sell their livestock, or whether to plow under their withered crops.
The wheat crop, harvested earlier than normal, yielded better
than previously expected, Avriett said. From there, the results take a drop.
"The corn looks terrible. It's the same with the grain sorghum," he said. "There are select fields in the county that have retained some moisture, but that's an exception.
Avriett estimated crops overall could take a 75 percent hit due to the drought. He said corn's aver
age yield of 70 bushels might drop to around 20; grain sorghum's average yield of 3,500 pounds will be lucky to get to 1,000 this year.
"Ag-wise, we're seeing a lot of ponds drying up," he said. "There are livestock tanks without water. It's going to be fairly devastating to tne livestock. The does are
See DROUGHT, Page 8
Vol. 1581 No. 184
12 sections, 1 pages
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LAURA McKENZIE | Herald-Zeitung
Dry, brown grass is a common site in and around New Braunfels. INSET: Rocks that would normally be submerged under the Guadalupe River are exposed as a result of low water levels at River Acres Park on Monday.
Area, state’s rainfall far below normal
By Will Wright
As droughts go, Texas is in the midst of a bad one.
That comes as no surprise to folks around the state and especially here in Comal County, which last saw a good rain on May 1 2, when 1.04 inches was recorded at New Braunfels Municipal Airport.
For tne year, National Weather Service meteorologists say the area is 11 inches below normal, and it needs 7 to 9 inches to break the drought.
The current dry spell began last fall and is made worse by rain deficits from the previous two droughts.
Tne last drought, which lasted from 2007-09, was broken in December 2009, when enough rain fell to get the area out of
the "exceptional" drought stage. The first big drought since the scorching summer of 2000 came in 2005-06.
"We've pretty much been dry since 2005," said NWS meteorologist Mark Lenz said.
The U.S. Drought Monitor lists 85 percent of the state, including Comal County, as being in the "extreme" or "exceptional" stages. Lenz said the forecast calls for a warmer than normal summer, with precipitation at near-normal to below-normal levels — not good news.
Only a significant rain event could help, and during the summer in Texas, those usually result from tropical weather systems, he said.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administra
tion (NOAA) officials have predicted 12 to 18 named tropical storms, including six to 10 hurricanes, to form in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico — which is why they think Texas might see some relief later this summer.
"It's hard to forecast where they will actually make landfall," Lenz said. "But we need a lot of rain, a good soaking rain, for it to do any good."
On Sept. 7, 2010, New Braunfels received 4.35 inches of rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine. Comal County saw some rain from tne leftovers from Tropical Storm Alex in early July 2010.
Before those systems came the 10-plus inches of rain that flooded the area on June 9, 2010.
NBU to discuss Stage III limits
By Will Wright
New Braunfels Utilities officials were scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to outline plans to ease the area into Stage III water restrictions.
"Right now, we're in Stage II, which is one-day-a-week watering, depending on the ending number of your address," NBU communications manager Gretchen Reuwer said on Monday.
Reuwer said NBU, which serves 51,240 total customers in the area, will call for Stage III when the Edwards Aquifer J-17 test well falls under 640 feet above mean sea level (msl) or when the Guadalupe River flow at Comal Springs drops below 150 cubic feet per second (cfs).
See WATER, Page 8