Thursday, June 10, 2010

Guadalupe River Flood 6-9-2010

 July 5, 2008 Guadalupe River aerial view, note Gruene bridge at left and adjacent Rockin' R River Rides' parking lot and buildings.

The weather prediction Tuesday night was 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms.  Out here in the country the night sky was a wee-hours spectacular.  Lightning striking thousands of times.  Thunder.  Rain; pounding, sheeting, coursing, assaulting rain.

When we got up in the morning, late because the alarm had gone to blink in a power outage, I checked the rain gauge.  3 1/2 inches.  Good for the property.

But a ways from here, in the space of the roughly 15 miles between big Canyon Lake and the town of New Braunfels, 10-12 inches fell in the wee hours, drenching the Guadalupe River drainage area. Rain rolled off the hills, funneling into creeks, until runoff grew to torrents knobby with rocks and branches, sweeping to the Guadalupe.  In the dark, while riverside campers slept, the clear green Guadalupe piled into a brown foaming flood, scouring trees, trucks and people from its path.  

The Fire Department managed 89 high water rescue calls from people in trees, trucks and homes.  And one recovery, the body of a man swept from sleep in an RV, recovered miles downstream near Gruene.

I drove to New Braunfels yesterday afternoon.  I know how a place feels after a disaster. When I walked out of my cottage in Coconut Grove after Hurricane Andrew, debris was piled two stories high in the street.

But I wasn't prepared for the height and width and suddenness, the totality of the Guadalupe's rush.



Try to picture the river flowing across the parking lot and into the first floor of the Rockin' R building, seen here from the Gruene bridge, which would have been invisible underwater.



Entrance to Rockin' R.  The sign decoration at left courtesy of Mother Nature.

Buses don't swim...and neither did the house in back.



See the weed hanging from the top of Common Street bridge, and the railing pushed over by the flood? 







High-water line marked in red.


 Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

14 comments :

deb said...

Kathleen!!

oh , this is just so terrible . I'm relieved you are safe, but my heart breaks for all of it.

just like that, in the dark of night.

Sharon said...

Disaster is a personal thing. Like death. You experience loss. I am so sorry you had to go through another disaster. Thank God you are safe and dry. How are you now? What kind of recovery activities are going on?

chinnb said...

Great pictures! Thanks for posting them.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Lord, have mercy. What a mess. Those poor folks.

Love you, Kathleen.

Anonymous said...

this is so sad, it breaks my heart. Every time New Braunfels floods I fear the business owners will just say enough is enough and floating companies will become a thing of the past.

Patchwork said...

This was a bad one.

It's amazing how much rain they got, in such a short time. And, here...so few miles away... we got about two inches.

I'm thinking you must be somewhere around the lake...above the flooded areas.

Glad you're ok.

Hodgesb said...

It sounds like the framework for a story in a Hill Country Mystery book, pictures included.
You are such a captivating writer, and photographer as far as that goes. I always look forward to your posts, and stories, fiction, truth or consequences. Keep em comming girl.

Gail said...

Two floods for you this spring...weren't you in Nashville, during our torrential rains? The power of moving water is incredible...and scary. gail

swallowtail said...

whoa. amazing.

I am glad that you are safe and sound. The destruction happens so fast in that kind of situation. Now it is clean-up time, on a huge scale.

Blessings.

Noelle said...

Oh goodness..

I had heard that Austin was expecting a lot of rain, but it is so sad to see what happened along the river. I hope that the area recovers soon.

N2 said...

Glad to see that you are OK, Kathleen. Talk about flash flood. This was scary, especially in light of all the people lost in the similar overnight flooding in Arkansas. x0 N2

LindaCTG said...

Thank you for capturing this for us, Kathleen. I'd seen the pictures in the Statesman, but a "personal" view is so powerful. This is so sad. A year ago, the river folks were praying for water. Now, they get too much.

Thank you for documenting it.

dianne said...

What a terrible thing to happen Kathleen, pleased to hear that you are safe. xoxo ♡

Me said...

Whew. . . terrifying and amazing the power of nature. Thank God there was only one death. . .and a 50% chance? How sudden and unexpected for all of the poor people who live there! I can't imagine - I hope I'll never have to!