Comfort remembers deadly flood from 30 years ago

Thirty years ago today ten lives were lost when the Central Texas town of Comfort was deluged by more than a foot of rain.

COMFORT - Thirty years ago today ten lives were lost when the Central Texas town of Comfort was deluged by more than a foot of rain.

KENS 5's chopper photographer helped save lives that day, but for those who perished, their memories still survive.

Right now the Guadalupe River in Comfort is about 20 feet across and the gauges say about three feet deep. But 30 years ago on the day of the flood, the river was 2/3 of a mile wide and over 31 feet deep.

On that day the town the normally quiet town of Comfort was mobilized trying to save as many people as possible that became trapped in the rushing water including Charles Heinen who lived by the Guadalupe.

"There were a bunch of people walking up and down the river I helped them look for bodies but we didn't have any luck," Heinen said.

Some of those bodies were those of campers from the Pot O' Gold Ranch that became trapped trying to escape.

"I could see those girls that I climbed up in those cypress trees waiting for helicopters to pick them up so I thought well they might find everybody. Heinen said.

But not everybody was found. "They had formed a human chain and got swept away.," Heinen said.

The National Weather Service put out a flood warning at 2:45 early that morning which read, "Life-threatening flooding on the Guadalupe River from Kerrville upstream [...] move to higher ground and away from the river at once.

By daybreak what was seen was a raging river and people trapped in trees waiting for rescue who weren't able to make it to dry land before the water got too high.

Those that did make it to safety were hoping their friends, who they hadn't seen in hours, were still alive.

Just feet away from both the entrance to the ranch and the Guadalupe River sits a memorial, for those whose lives were lost, and those who tried to rescue them.

Fresh roses laid there today where people came to pay their respects and remember.
 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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