New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 23, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
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24 pages in three sections ■ Friday, May 23,1997
Serving Comal County and surrounding areas for more than 145 years ■ Home of Carl and Peer! Marlon
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Vol. 145, No. 137
Birthday wlshas from tho Horald-Zoltuitg!
The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung extends birthday wishes to: Christa Lovett, Carri Mercer, Julie Radtke (13 years old), lector Valdez, Justin McGilvrey (16 years old Saturday), James Gooden (23 years old), Leu Vodron, Jessica lodges, Tammy Crumrine, Shaurice Heard.
Happy anniversary wishes go to: Carl and Pearl Marion (60 years) and James G. and Melinda Smith.
To have a birthday or anniversary listed here, call 625-9144.
mold —3,234 grass —12
Comal River — 206 cfs,up 16 from Thursday
Edwards Aquifer Panther Canyon Well — 625.10 feet above sea level, up 03 Canyon Dam discharge — 714 cfs Canyon Lake inflow —1,117 cfs Canyon Lake level — 910.96 feet above sea level. (Above conservation pool.)
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NBW Drain IIVI* UU9IUDB
NBU reports pumping 5.277 million gallons of surface water Thursday and 615,000 gallons of well water were used.
1Wr« cam of business
All city, county, state administrative offices and the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Emergency and law enforcement services will be available and city sanitation crews will be working.
Cash that check and mail those payments today, because the banks and the post office also will be closed
Local public school offices will be open on Memorial Day.
The Herald-Zeitung offices will also be closed on Monday.
Lams open, but sxHs still clossd on 1-35
Though construction continues on Interstate 35, all lanes are now open and southbound traffic should flow more smoothly. However, exits between Solms Road and FM 2252 are still closed.
All northbound lanes from San Antonio to New Braunfels will remain open during the construction.
Holiday may bs somawhat damp
Hopefully rains won’t dampen Memorial Day festivities.
Tonight there is a 40 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms with heavy rainfall possible, lows in the upper 60s and a southeast wind of 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday may be a better day with a 30 percent chance of rain and mostly cloudy skies, highs in the mid-80s and a south v/ind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday and Memorial Day should have partly to mostly cloudy skies with only a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms, lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s.
Nowotny tenders resignation at CHS
By ABE LEVY
After a five-hour executive session, Comal Independent School District trustees accepted the resignation of Athletic Director mid Head Football Coach Larry Nowotny early this morning.
The move comes after a three-week, outside investigation of the entire school district by Austin attorney Bill Krueger and the fil-
IM Students enter pleas in hazing case / 3A
ing of two simple assault charges against five varsity football players at Canyon High School.
A total of nine players and Nowotny were disciplined in April after CISD conducted an investigation into reports of hazing of freshmen within the football pro
The reports cited coat hangars as the objects used by upperclassmen to conduct hazing rituals on campus.
“I just want to thank the people from Canyon and New Braunfels that supported the program and thank the players that performed and most of all the coaching staff,” said Nowotny, who has been coach for seven years after coming from La Marque. ‘‘That’s all I have to say.”
Nowotny declined to comment on his chances of finding future employment.
The board approved the resignation shortly after 2 a.m. and also approved a motion for Superintendent Jerry Major to reprimand an undisclosed administrator, officials said.
Board president Dan Krueger, no relation to the Austin attorney, said the move was
Turn to Nowotny, Page 3A Larry Nowotny
m flood: Day the impossible happened
Mother Nature wreaked havoc, left permanent scars on area
By CHRIS CREWS
Rudy Seidel’s voice still halts with emotion when he talks about a night that changed his life. His memories of the Great Flood of 1972 are still that vivid in his mind.
turns hero on the air
By CHRIS CREWS
■ Remembering the flood in photos / 8-9A
■ Historical account of the flood, its aftermath / 3A
‘‘I always thought that when you saw someone on telev ision who had been through a tornado or a flood, you could imagine how they felt,” Seidel recalled. ‘‘But when it happens to you, you realize that you can’t.”
On May 11, 1972, 15 people died as a result of the flood, more than 300 families were left homeless and the flood caused an estimated $5 million in damages.
Seidel lost his house, a boat and a car in the flood, but he said the loss of smaller, more mundane items brought the tragedy into focus for him.
“It really hits home when you wake up and realize that all you have left is the shirt on your back. All of the little things that you take for granted — toothpaste, a toothbrush, salt and pepper. You don’t have a handkerchief in your pocket — nothing,” Seidel said.
The Army Corps of Engineers had assured Seidel and other people wanting to build homes along the river that it was virtually impossible for New Braunfels to flood again after Canyon Dam’s completion in 1964. With this in mind, Seidel built his home on the north bank of the Guadalupe River about 200 yards east of the Interstate 35 bndge. Then the virtually impossible became stark reality-
A family residing in the Krueger Avenue area flees, child in arms, before the onslaught of Comal Creek.
Seidel remembered that it had rained every day for about IO days prior to the flood. He recalls reports of a massive storm cloud tluit would not budge from its new-found home just below Canyon Dam. Mother Nature had circumvented the engineers, their dam, and their flood control plan.
The rain-soaked ground could not accept the IO inches of rain the cloud poured into the river just below the dam. The killer flood had begun.
Seidel and his wife were going to bed about 11 p.m. when his teen-age son came in and reported the rising
water. What followed was an unintelligible sw irl of homes being washed off their foundations, trees uprooted and every thing from cars to livestock being swept away.
“We consider ourselves fortunate, we got out alive,” Seidel said. "A lot of people didn’t.”
Seidel said he lost virtually everything in the flood. He had built the house in 1968, just four years before the flood. He still owed a large amount of money on the mortgage.
“You know, my insurance agent had been alter me to buy a lot more
insurance. It’s funny, but he never mentioned flood insurance.”
Seidel said the people of the community were very helpful after the flood and the government provided temporary housing.
Seidel moved the mobile home the government provided as temporary housing onto the lot of his home that had been washed away.
"My wife never did like water, especially at night,” Seidel said. “Just a few drops of rain on the roof and we had to get out. It still chokes me up to think about it.”
Herb Skoog scoffs at the suggestion that he was a hero during the flood of 1972. He said he was just a citizen trying to help out during a crisis as best he could.
Skoog was the general manager of KGNB. the local AM radio station then located in downtown New Braunfels. He defied The Federal Communication Commission and faced the possibility of having his broadcast license suspended for unauthorized operation of his radio station.
“At the time, our AM station was only licensed to be on during the day,” Skoog said. “But the public needed information (during the crisis), so I decided to stay on the air.” Skoog said the station usually signed off few the day around 7 p.m. He returned to the station about 9 p.m., restored the signal, and stayed on the air until about noon the next day.
“We didn’t run any commercials, it was all talk and people calling in and reporting on the flood from around the area. We had direct lines to all the public service agencies like the police and fire departments and the hospital.”
Skoog said he never heard from the FCC regarding his act of insubordination. He said that within the year, the agency actually issued a directive to all half-day radio stations to stay on the air during emergency situations.
“I don’t think (the directive) was a response to our situation here in New Braunfels, but rather a response to ours and similar situations around the country.”
Aside from official reports on the flood and relief activities, Skoog said he heard from many citizens calling to reassure their families.
"We had a lot of people calling to say things like ‘I was swept down the river but I want to tell my wife I’m all right.’
"People were aware we had to do extraordinary things to get through it. At the time it seemed the normal thing to do.”
Memorial Day river tragedy changes young man's life
By DAVID DEKUNDER
GONZALES — After he graduated a year ago from Texas A&M University Toby Boemg was looking forward to a bnght future.
The 24-year-old Marion resident had just wrapped up his five-year academic career at A&M by serving in the Student Senate as speaker and by being elected student body president for the 1995-96 school year.
In addition, Boeing had a marketing job waiting for hun at IBM in Dallas.
A few weeks after he graduated, Boemg and his friends took a Memor-ial Day rafting trip down the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels.
The trip would change his life forever.
Boemg described the trip as he took a break between stretching exercises at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital Wednesday morning.
“I was on the edge of the raft taking a nap, lying down,” Boeing said. "I was lying on my stomach and had scooted my whole body in the water. We had just been in deep water.” Boemg did not know that his raft was entering shallow water, and before he knew it his body hit the stone bed of the Guadalupe River.
“I was just lying there in the w ater,” Boemg said. “I was trying to push myself up, but I couldn’t. It was the most helpless feeling I had in my life. I had my eyes closed. All I could see was gravel.”
When his friends saw hun lying
down, Boemg said they thought he was joking. But when they saw blood in the water they started to pull him out and put him on the raft to stabilize him.
The friends then pushed the raft to a house on the river. Luckily the house was that of a doctor.
Boemg was transported by EMS to McKenna Memorial Hospital where X-rays showed he dislocated his neck. He was then air lifted to Northeast Baptist Hospital.
Boenig found out that he had a spinal cord injury. While he lay in his hospital bed, the only movements Boenig could make were sliding his right arm and turning his forearms.
A doctor said there was a chance he Turn to Riva, Page 2A
t-Zwung photo Dy UA vie I)
Toby Boenig, center, doee stretching exercises with the help of Me pist, Keratin Fosdick, left, end tile tether, George, right
Kudos to outgoing principal Jane MacDonald. See Page 4A