New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 17, 1999, New Braunfels, Texas
ALCS Game 3 — Saturday
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Yankees lead series 2-1
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Game 4 — Saturday
New York 3
Braves lead series 3-1Herald-Zeitung
Vol. 148, No. 237 64 pages in 6 sections October 17, 1999
Serving Comal County since 1852
► Rangers win Comal Bowl
It was a frustrating night for Canyon quarterback Bradley George and the Cougars, who had a chance to defeat Smithson Valley on the game’s final play this past Friday at Ranger Stadium. /1B
► Tie gets broken
Smithson Valley also defeated Canyon on the volleyball court this past Friday. The Rangers swept the Cougarettes and took sole possession of first place in District 27-4A. /3B
► Bum thumb
Texas Tech scored a homecoming victory over Colorado on Saturday, but NBHS graduate Kliff Kingsbury watched from the sideline with a broken left thumb. /4BWeather
Temperatures across Texas began retreating Saturday night. After a long holdout of summer-like weather, a cold front sweeping over the state is bringing lower temperatures immediately behind it. For the forecast, see page 2A.Index
Key cod® 77Flood of ’98 — Rebuilding, Recovering, Remembering
Rebounds offers special ceremony commemorating October 1998 flood
By Heather Todd
Oct. 17, 1998, dawned overcast in Comal County, accompanied by steady, pelting rain, but very few could have foreseen the disastrous events that would unfold that day.
By mid-afternoon on that Saturday, more than 20 inches of rain drenched parts of New Braunfels and Comal County.
By nightfall, there were tales of sorrow, pain and loss. But there also were stories of selfless heroics, sacrifice and compassion.
Remembrance and Celebration
A service for survivors of the October 1998 flood will begin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Landa Park, areas 11 through 11E.
Bells will ring at 3 p.m. for those who lost their lives.
Those stories, and many others, will be memorialized during a Remembrance and Celebration ceremony at 4:30 p.m. today in Landa Park.
At 3 p.m. today — the one-year anniversary of the October 1998 flood — bells will ring throughout New Braunfels in remembrance of lives lost and to commemorate the struggle to rebuild lives and dreams.
The ceremony, conducted by New Braunfels Rebounds, will take place in picnic areas 11 and I IE, across from the park’s playground.
Scott Tjemagel, pastor of Mercy House and a member of the Rebounds executive committee, said the purpose was two-fold.
The Herald-Zeitung devotes an eight-page section to the October 1998 flood. /INSIDE More stories, columns and letters on the disaster and its aftermath /5A, 6-7A, 1C, 5C, 7C
One year later: Some still hurting but most surviving
City sets rebuilding deadlineProperty owners could be called to standards board
By Peri Stone-Palmquist
The city of New Braunfels has grown impatient with some residents who have let their flood-damaged property sit for the past year, but property owners say they need more time and understanding.
“We lost everything we owned,” Leonard Dixon said. “And the city thinks you can wave a magic wand and fix things.”
Dixon, who lived at 1493 Sleepy Hollow at the time of the October 1998 flood, said 16 feet of water went through his home, knocking its worth down from $121,000 to $31,000.
Friends have helped with cleanup and the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave Dixon, his wife and two children $13,000 to replace the contents of the home and $3,700 to rebuild.
“It’s not enough,” he said. “Financially, it’s been a problem. We’re just trying to stay above water, as the saying goes.”
The city has put added pressure on the situation, he said, with a recent letter giving him 30 days, or until today’s anniversary of the flood, to demolish his home or obtain the necessary permits to rebuild it.
Those who don’t comply could face a hearing in front of the city’s Building Standards Commission, which could vote to demolish the structure at the owner’s expense.
Dixon said he was trying to sell his property, but the city’s one-year timeline was too strict.
“The city has been very unfair about it,” he said. “People just can’t financially do it.”
City attorney Floyd Akers said he sympathized with losses, but the city
Linda Coble stands on the slab of what used to be her riverfront home on Crest Lane. Coble is one of several residents whose homes were damaged in the flood and now are being told they must repair or replace those structures.
could not be much more lenient.
“We understand people have financial difficulty,” he said. “But it’s been a year. And we have to be concerned with the health and safety of all the city.”
When flood-damaged structures are left as is, property values decrease, he said. And abandoned homes can become unsafe playgrounds for teen-agers.
The city has only sent letters to five homeowners asking for some action, but many more residents still have work to do — more than the city has targeted with letters.
The South Texas Flood Recovery Project has canvassed 2,000 homes and sent out 3,100 flyers sharing with flood
victims what assistance is available. More than 40 homes are on South Texas Flood Recovery Project’s “unmet needs” list, team manager Kate Holy said.
That list is forwarded to New Braunfels Rebounds, an interfaith nonprofit flood relief organization that has already repaired more than 30 homes since the flood.
Because of lack of money and volunteers, Rebounds still has 40 homes and maybe more to repair.
According to the group’s director, Rev. Charles DeHaven, Rebounds will be in place at least for the next two years.
Akers said city officials believed a year was a “really long time” to allow
for rebuilding or demolition.
“Normally, we’d give them 30 days,” Akers said. “We’re trying to be lenient because this was a tragedy. But we’ve been getting complaints.”
The city has been put in a difficult position, Akers said, trying to be lenient with flood victims and appease neighboring homeowners who weren’t affected by the flood or have rebuilt and want their neighbors to do the same.
But the city has tried to be helpful, he said. It picked up trash for free for several months and offered free building permits for six months.
“That’s great,” New Braunfels resident See DEADLINES
New public library reports brisk business
By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff Writer
Most people didn’t waste time merely looking at the New Braunfels Public Library on Saturday — they were busy using it.
Miriam Cooper and her 3-year-old son, Joshua, made their way directly to the spacious, colorful children’s area the moment the new library first opened its doors to the public at IO a.m.
“We came straight over here,” Cooper said. “This is super.”
Mother and son found a book immediately — “The Secret Birth
day Message” by Erie Carle — and settled into one of several chairs.
As Miriam read aloud to her eager child, boys and girls swarmed around them, pulling books from shelves and leading parents to computer terminals.
But the buzz of excited children was hardly audible from outside the room, thanks to a glass partition.
“It’s nice that the children’s area is separated,” Miriam said. “I was always worried about the children being too noisy.”
The Coopers were only two of
See NEW LIBRARY/9A
New Braunfels Public Library Advisory Board president Julia Ousley (left) helps Mayor Stoney Williams open the city’s new library.Early voting begins Monday for NBISD board, amendments
By Heather Todd
Registered voters will begin casting ballots Monday on 17 propositions to amend the state constitution and a local school board trustee
forum set Th; Nov. 2 constitutional
Page 4A amendment election pro-
- poses, among other things,
providing $400 million to finance education loans to students and exempting leasing cars for personal use from property taxes.
District 5 voters in New Braunfels Independent School District also will cast ballots in
See EARLY VOTING/10A