Flooded businesses make recovery, reopening a priority
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When you think 'Summer in New Braunfels,' floating in a river or cooling off at Schlitterbahn is probably what comes to mind.
Schlitterbahn Chief Operating Officer Terri Adams said it took a lot of work, but they were able to open many of the park's attractions just 24 hours after a flash flood hit the area.
"You go to bed and everything is just great and you wake up and there's high water. So a lot of clean up, a lot of work, you know, you're sad when you're not open," she said.
At Rockin' R River Rides, Manager Shane Wolf said Thursday was a day to pick up the pieces.
"We got to bleach everything, rip everything out tearing out the walls of our outfitter's shop. It was a complete loss," he said.
At about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Wolf got the call that the water had risen over the bridge on Gruene Road, but there was no time to react.
"Within 12 minutes, literally, it was too late. So we're glad we didn't have people in harm’s way, because the water rose faster than we've seen it ever rise," he said.
Rockin R's four other locations had little to no damage, but they lost 90 percent of their tubes, and their fleet of shuttle buses was left in ruins.
"We've got four vehicles out of the three dozen that we had," Wolf said.
Even with that kind of loss, they say they'll be ready when the water is safe for floating.
"As soon as they tell us that the river is open, we've got the rafts, we've got the shuttles, we've got the employees and the willingness and we know the customers are ready to have a good summer, so we're going to provide it," Wolf said.
Before that can happen, crews have to get the things like cars, buses and campers out of the river, so it's safe recreation.
Upstream river outfitters avoided flooding problems all together. Thursday the popular horse shoe was filled with visitors, many who had planned on cooling off in New Braunfels.
"If they've got plans anywhere down river, they're looking for some place to go, cause they're coming today and this weekend," River Sports Tubes owner Mike Martz said.
By late Thursday afternoon, the Comal County judge closed the Guadalupe River to recreational use from Canyon Lake downward. Earlier, just Guadalupe and Comal rivers in New Braunfels were closed.
Outfitters are appealing and hope to have an exemption for the horse shoe in time for the weekend.
Check RiverSportsTubes.com for updates.