Campers evacuated from KOA campground

Swelling Salado Creek prompts evacuation at Gembler Road campsite


SAN ANTONIO – Campers at the KOA campground on Gembler Road were forced to evacuate Wednesday night as Salado Creek swelled after heavy rain.

They were directed to the AT&T center parking lot, where some campers spent a slightly less comfortable night.

"It was very hot last night," said Sheila-Marie Johnson, who along with her two sons, husband and sister-in-law spent the night without electricity and the added elbow room slideouts usually provide.

"We heard the news a couple weeks ago (about) the house (in Wimberley) that floated away," Johnson said. "We realized it was a serious situation or could be a serious situation." 

The attitude of most campers was one of not wanting to be surprised by a flood. 

Susan Presgrave isn't just visiting San Antonio. She recently sold her home and is living at the KOA campground for the next seven months until she retires and travels the country. Presgrave knows Salado Creek can rise fast.

When police and firefighters started going door-to-door telling people it was time to leave, Presgrave got out fast.

"We knew to get out. Maybe because it's a brand new rig, and we weren't gonna leave our home behind to get destroyed," Presgrave said.

The campground didn't end up flooding but the creek was over its banks and covered a bike trail. 

Some campers headed back to KOA overnight as soon as they knew it was safe. Others roughed it in the parking lot for the night.