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Tough times continue in Central Texas

Man, it just sucks to be dependent on the tourist industry sometimes:

The Guadalupe River could be closed to tubing and other recreation below the Canyon Dam for the rest of the year, compounding the economic hardships wrought by the Central Texas floods.

A ban on recreation on the Comal River also will remain in effect for at least another week, officials said Wednesday.

“None of this is good news,” said New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce President Michael Meek.

Flooding ruined river-related business on the Fourth of July, one of the summer’s three crucial holiday weekends. Meek called the floods a “worst-case scenario” that hasn’t finished unfolding.

Comal County and Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority officials extended the bans on water recreation that had been in place since torrential rains and flooding struck the region beginning July 1.

The ban covers the waterways in Comal and Guadalupe counties and also applies to lakes in the region.

[…]

“I would think it would be close to the end of the year,” said Comal County Judge Danny Scheel when asked how soon full use of the Guadalupe River might be restored.

People who live in the area will soon be allowed to use the river to access their flooded homes, Scheel said.

Scheel said that without doubt, the loss of almost an entire summer season will compound the economic misery of riverside concessions and other businesses that were flooded or rely on tourism.

“This has a trickle-down effect through the entire community as well as city and county government. On the Fourth of July weekend, we probably lost $125,000 in sales tax revenue,” he said.

The disaster’s full impact hasn’t been felt or measured, Scheel said.

“Right now, we’re still working on debris removal. We’re trying to get people placed in housing of some sort, either rentals or mobiles,” the judge said.

New Braunfels has about 35,000 people (Comal County has about 82,000), so that’s a pretty big chunk of change for them.

The good news, as the story says, is that the Schlitterbahn is still open, and there’s more to New Braunfels than just river activities. I’ve already heard one of the radio spots they’re doing which extols its other virtues for visitors. But it’s still gotta suck to have that many eggs in one basket.

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