Texas' Guadalupe Closed Following Flooding

Posted: 07/10/2002
by Jason Robertson

Texas boater Chris Burt alerted American Whitewater on July 10th that the Guadalupe River is closed until flood waters from the recent rains that have been pounding South and Central Texas recede. As you can read from the press release below, boating is prohibited until "July, 20 unless this order is further extended".

The Guadalupe, the most visited river in Texas, is dammed just above New Braunfels at Canyon Lake, which from the flood, reached record levels and in fact went over the spillway by 6 to 8 feet!

Boaters are now challenged with accessing what is likely to be the only whitewater Texas will see during the summer months. With the lake completely full, the Corps of Engineers will begin releasing water until it is down to acceptable levels, which will take several months. According to Chris Burt "We usually do not have any whitewater in this river during the summer except in rare cases like this one where the lake is so full."

Some questions for the boating community are:
1. How can we go about the task of reclaiming access to this river?

2. How can we ensure that if we regain access, we will not obstruct emergency, rescue, and reclamation efforts?

3. Is there a way that boaters can obtain access by assisting with rescue efforts?

4. How can we enjoy our activity without being perceived as part of the problem?

One idea we are considering is approaching the judge and asking for the restraining order to allow access by whitewater paddlecrafts to discrete sections of the river with whitewater.

However, if you have any further ideas for resolving these access questions, we would appreciate your assistance. Please call (866-boat-4-AW) or email American Whitewater Jason@amwhitewater.org with your ideas.

Here's the official press release from the GBRA:

Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, Canyon Reservoir and GBRA Hydro Lakes Closed to Public Use

Contact: Judy Gardner, [830] 379-5822 or jgardner@gbra.org

SEGUIN-. Emergency orders issued jointly today by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) and Comal County prohibit the use of all watercraft, whether motorized or not, on the Guadalupe River, the Comal River, Canyon Reservoir, Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid and Meadow Lake (Nolte) in Comal and Guadalupe Counties until July 20, 2002, unless this order is further extended.

The emergency orders were signed by GBRA general manager Bill West and Comal County Judge Danny Scheel. Guadalupe County Judge Jim Sagebiel will present an emergency order for action to Commissioner's Court on Monday. According to West, the orders were issued for the sake of public safety and to prevent illegal entry to property during the current flooding conditions along the Guadalupe River.

These restrictions do not apply to any employee or officer of a law enforcement or regulatory agency, or to emergency service workers who may need to access these areas in the performance of their duties.

GBRA may issue a temporary permit to individuals who need to use their watercraft to salvage lost personal items, or for evacuation or other flood or emergency-related activities. For more information, call GBRA at 830-379-5822.

Jason D. Robertson
635 Joseph Cir
Golden, CO 80403-2349