- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 6, 2002

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) A raging waterfall poured over a dam on a storm-swollen lake yesterday, threatening to ravage homes and businesses as heavy rain and flash flood warnings continued in the region.
Residents had been ordered to leave the south Texas city by morning.
The new rain added more water to the overflowing Medina Lake and threatened several communities downstream along the Medina River. A small dam broke in Grey Forest, a few miles northwest of San Antonio, submerging roads that had just been reopened as earlier flooding subsided.
From Castroville to LaCoste, more than 4,000 people remained evacuated because of Medina River flooding, the Medina County Sheriff's Department said.
"Medina Lake is the primary concern, and whether the flooding will overflow the dam," said Frank Perkins, who is helping coordinate relief efforts. "If that happens, we'll have a lot of problems."
The threat in New Braunfels, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio, came from the 45-year-old Canyon Dam, where water surged over an earthen spillway, then downhill almost a mile into the already-bloated Guadalupe River.
Among those asked to evacuate was Linda Coble, who owns a wood-frame house built on 8-foot stilts, about 30 yards from the river. The house was built on the foundation of a stone house destroyed by flooding four years ago.
Back then, the Guadalupe blasted through this small Hill Country city about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio with little warning. This time, there's been time to get ready.
As her children loaded up a trailer with valuables, Mrs. Coble looked out at the brown-flowing Guadalupe that she's lived next to for more than two decades. She says she'll stay put until the water level almost reaches the house.
In Medina County, no one was allowed to stay within a mile of the Medina River, which reached 23 feet above flood stage at Bandera on Thursday before water began to recede. Downriver, LaCoste and Somerset expected waters at least 20 feet above flood stage late yesterday.
"We've had high water, but nothing near this," said Jonelle Crow, who lives five miles north of Castroville along the river. "The water is rushing tremendously fast."
The flood ripped five tall pecan trees out of the ground where they've grown for more than 100 years, she said.


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