Brad Messer Commentary
Thursday, July 17, 2003


Flood of '87

Our weather is drought interrupted occasionally by floods.

Sixteen years ago today we had a terrible one in Kerr County. It began in the middle of the night. Between midnight and 4:30 a.m., eleven inches of rain fell above Hunt. The Guadalupe river rose 20 feet immediately. Warning calls were made to summer camps and others downriver.

Thirty miles downstream from Hunt, at Comfort, the Guadalupe usually runs a foot deep and ten yards wide at the low-water crossing. But it was 31 feet deep on July 17, 1987. Trying to evacuate their church camp, 43 kids and counselors were caught up and carried away.

They were holding onto treetops for dear life, exactly this time of morning. The floodwater carried one boy into a deer that was caught in barbed-wire. The impact jarred the deer loose, and he swam to shore pulling the boy along with him.

There were people with fabulous luck, and people with no luck at all that morning. Within two hours, DPS and MAST and news helicopter crews were rescuing desperate survivors. Ten of the forty-three Baptist Church summer campers drowned. One of the ten has never been found.

The Bus Tragedy flood at Comfort was sixteen years ago this morning. Please don't ever drive into high water. I don't want your story in this space.

Brad Messer commentary, KTSA.


"Bus Tragedy" flood of 1987

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