The worst hit were businesses and homes along the Guadalupe
River in Gruene and New Braunfels.
Businesses and residents faced the tough road ahead
"We thought nothing would be salvageable, but look what these
beautiful people have done for us," said Cathi Kneuper, whose home
was flooded and
whose husband rescued an 11-year-old girl from the
river. "It's almost…its overwhelming…but we're
blessed and so thankful."
After flooding killed a man and endangered several others in
the Comal County area Wednesday, the Guadalupe River has retreated
to its banks.
Former flood victim Margaret Parr said, "The third one down, is
where we were…" as she points out the foundation where her
home used to sit in 1998. A massive flood that year destroyed many
homes along the river.
Margaret Parr was one of those victims.
Parr said, "The morning it had hit…we had rained 22
She's since moved to higher ground in New Braunfels, but visits
the site to see the latest damage for herself.
Parr said, "I told my husband yesterday you know, I would move
right back on the river, if I can find a high place."
And for Cathi Kneuper, her and her husband will rebuild.
Kneuper said, "In the whole scheme of things, Im just glad were
alive…it could have been so much worse."
Some 6 feet of water still covered the Rockin' R parking lot in
the early morning hours Thursday, but the water continued to
retreat as time passed. And as daylight begins to uncover more of
the damage Thursday morning, residents are left to pick up the
pieces left by the devastation.
Since 'Surf n Burg' was the only area under water, most of the
Schlitterbahn amusement park reopened Thursday at 10 a.m. - with
discounted admission prices. Teams spent the majority of the night
An early morning, slow-moving, tropical, low-pressure system
dumped a foot of rain over the Guadalupe River just northwest of
Gruene and New Braunfels Wednesday.
Some 11.87 inches was measured 5.5 miles northwest of New
Braunfels, and several surrounding locations reported 10- to 11
inches of rainfall.
In just eight hours, 10 inches of rain fell - producing deadly
and devastating flash flooding.
In the Austin metro area, 2- to 5 inches of rain fell, producing
some flash flooding at low water crossings Wednesday.
However, little rain fell over the Hill Country, so the levels
of lakes Buchanan and Travis will not be affected.
The upper-level low-pressure system has moved just northeast of
Central Texas, and could be the focus for more heavy rainfall
Thursday. Eastward, an additional 1- to 3 inches of rainfall are
possible from the Austin metro area.
Rainfall will mostly end by Friday, with hot and humid weather
returning this weekend.
Norman Walker of
Iowa Park, Texas, died in the Guadalupe River.
According to the City of New Braunfels, the 65-year-old became
trapped after the river began to rise while he camped in the area
Hueco Springs in Comal County.
and Wildlife Department game wardens and one game warden
captain were assisting Comal County authorities in high water
rescues. Here's a video of one rescue posted on YouTube:
An area man also saved an 11-year-old girl - after being in the
river for two hours - who was washed from a camp zone north of
Gruene, six miles up the river from New Braunfels. She was wearing
a life vest that was apparently put on her by her parents when
their truck flooded, the man told KXAN. Their actions, and his,
saved her life.
Both the girl and her rescuer are safe. The man's home was under
water, he said, and has sustained heavy damage. His wife woke him
up in their home on the river to alert him to the rising water, and
when he went outside, he heard the young girl yelling for help - so
he jumped in and saved her.
An elderly New Braunfels couple survived the storm after waking
up Wednesday morning to find 2 feet of water in their home.
Austin police were sending a five-person rescue crew to help on
New Braunfels Mayor Bruce Boyer and Lt. John Wells of the NB
Police Department gave the following updates in a noon news
Emergency Declaration has been issued for Guadalupe and Comal
Rivers. Area rivers have been closed.
Crews are getting help from San Marcos and San Antonio Fire
More than 800 emergency dispatch calls received, and about
100 were for evacuation or rescue.
Reverse 911 reached 368 homes asking people to evacuate,
though most already had evacuated.
The waters are starting to recede, but the area is still in
an emergency situation due to down power lines and debris.
Officials are asking people to stay home unless it is
necessary for them to venture out.
City asks that only serious emergencies be used for 911 to
keep the lines open for people needing rescues
STARFlight and the Texas Department of Public Safety are in
helicopters looking for people needing help
The city began preparing crews on Tuesday in anticipation of
Teams of city employees will be sent out to do damage
assessment as soon as possible
Heavy thunderstorms continued early Wednesday, hitting New
Braunfels particularly hard - with flooding, water and tree
rescues, and mobile homes washing out in the rains.
Among the businesses wiped out by rushing water was
Rockin' R River
Rides. The building that houses the main headquarters was
designed to withstand a flood and it worked. The structure was not
compromised, but water rose six feet on the bottom floor and
destroyed thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
The metal raft and tube rental structure near the banks of the
Guadalupe River collapsed. Dozens of old school buses, used to
shuttle customers, were wrapped around trees and scattered across
the 10-acre piece of property. Manager Shane Wolf said the goal is
to get the business back up and running in ten to fifteen days.
A section of
Schlitterbahn Waterpark was underwater. A
spokesperson said a portion of the park would be back open Thursday
at 10 a.m. and cost of admission will be reduced.
STARFlight has helicopters in that area helping local crews with
rescues. The Comal County Red Cross opened a shelter at
Braunfels Middle School for residents who are flooded out by
the rising water at the Dry Comal Creek.
Texas park wardens rescued one man who had been trapped in his
truck at a low water crossing, as well as several others in the
Lake Dunlap area, said Capt. Danny Villalobos of the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department.
Villalobos said numerous recreational vehicles had washed
downstream from the New Braunfels area, and that wardens would be
working with Comal County deputies and other officers to make sure
no one had been trapped in any of those trailers.
A team of Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens participated in
rescue efforts with local authorities. Gov. Rick Perry also has
directed the activation of state search and rescue capabilities due
to the heavy flooding. State resources being activated included
five Texas military forces high-profile vehicles in San
Antonio; two Texas military forces UH-60 Blackhawk
helicopters; and three swift water rescue teams based in New
The State Operations Center remains at an increased readiness
level and continues to work with the National Weather Service to
monitor the storm system.
In addition, all summer school and student-related activities in
the New Braunfels Independent School District will be canceled
Wednesday due to the weather. This includes summer school for the
elementary and secondary grades.
Parents should check with the district later Wednesday to see if
classes will be canceled Thursday.
Meanwhile, 20 miles east of Austin in Elgin, lightning struck
the Elgin Police Department just after 6 a.m. - temporarily
knocking out some server equipment and their 911 console. While the
911 server was down, calls were diverted to Bastrop. The service
was working again Wednesday morning.
Multiple low water crossings closed in Austin, including several
along Spicewood Springs Road. Bull Creek at Loop 360 is above flood
stage. And officials were reminding people to use an alternate
route and to remember to
Around Don’t Drown.
Law enforcement reported closed roads in Kyle. Several roads are
closed in San Marcos and in New Braunfels.
Meanwhile, the low water crossing near CR100 near Georgetown had
one foot of water flowing over, it according to law enforcement and
The Comal County Sheriff's Office said they have had a couple of
calls for high-water rescues, citing there has been 12 inches of
water. Officials said State Highway 46 is open but suggest travel
only if it is to escape high water.