AUSTIN (KXAN) - One man is dead and several other people are being rescued after
rain and deadly floods hit the Comal County area on Wednesday,
The man, Norman Walker of Iowa Park, Texas, died in the
Guadalupe River. According to the City of New Braunfels, Walker,
65, was camping in the area of
Springs in Comal County when the river began to rise. Walker
Five Texas Parks 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:
By mid-afternoon, storms appeared to have cleared the area,
moving to the east.
An area man also saved an 11-year-old girl who was washed from a
camp zone north of Gruene, six miles up the river from New
Braunfels, after being in the river for some two hours. She was
wearing a life vest, most likely because she was swimming at the
time, the man tells KXAN.
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 two feet of water in their home.
"We were going to ride it out and some guys came in a boat and
said no you're not- you're going to go with us," said Mary Lee
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
STARFlight has helicopters in that area helping local crews with
rescues. The Comal County Red Cross opened a shelter at
New 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.
Most of Schlitterbahn amusement park will be back open Thursday
morning at 10 a.m. A team will be cleaning up all night. Admission
prices will be discounted. 'Surf n Burg' was the only area
Meanwhile, 20 miles east of Austin in Elgin, lightning struck
the Elgin Police Department just after 6am - 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 this morning.
An upper-level, low-pressure system is interacting with abundant
low-level moisture to spark the storms. The low system will slowly
trek to the northeast.
Rain chances will continue Wednesday evening and through
Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for Williamson,
Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Lee counties. Doppler estimated
rainfall amounts Wednesday morning were between 2- to 4 inches,
though up to 6 inches of rain is possible.
Multiple low water crossings have closed in Austin, including
several along Spicewood Springs Road. Bull Creek at Loop 360 is
above flood stage.
Use an alternate route and remember
Around Don’t Drown. Law enforcement reported closed roads
in Kyle. Several roads are closed in San Marcos and in New
Meanwhile, the low water crossing near CR100 near Georgetown had
one foot of water flowing over, it according to law enforcement and
One of the hardest hit areas is eastern Comal County, where 4
inches of rain fell in six hours in New Braunfels.
NWS officials said the slow-moving thunderstorm that was over
Central Comal County is drifting eastward toward New Braunfels,
where major flooding is expected to impact the city throughout the
next few hours. Rainfall rates are estimated at 3- to 4 inches an
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.