20 years later: Effects of 2002 flood still felt in Comal County

The powerful storm created a new gorge, washed away rivers and flooded subdivisions.

Comal County engineer Tom Hornseth has seen a lot over his 30 years on the job, but nothing is more memorable than seeing a home floating down the Guadalupe River in 2002.

NEW BRAUNFELS – Comal County engineer Tom Hornseth has seen a lot over his 30 years on the job, but nothing is more memorable than seeing a home floating down the Guadalupe River in 2002.

He said there was information that flooding was expected, and thousands were evacuated on the July 4th weekend, but it was way worse.

“The event happened and it was greater than they had predicted,” Hornseth said. “It’s the first time and the only time Canyon Dam has gone over its emergency spillways.”

The powerful storm created a new gorge, washed away rivers and flooded subdivisions.

Still, Hornseth said the dam and spillway did what it was supposed to do and prevented greater tragedy.

Since then, the county and the City of New Braunfels has spent millions of dollars to help mitigate floods, create bridges and hydraulics and even studies on what else to do for the future.

The reality though is that New Braunfels sits on the path of a flood plain and the community is preparing for its next flood.


About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.