Flash flood rapid response
mobilizes volunteer cleanup
by Robin Cravey
Hurricane or tropical storm? Either way, Hermine sent a major flood into Barton Springs Pool. The flood washed in huge volumes of gravel, debris, and silt. Naturally, FBSP went into action.
Service Director Jonathan Beall was out of town, so it fell to me to organize and lead the effort. I worked with Pool Manager Wayne Simmons to schedule the cleanup. For safety reasons, he wanted hold it on Wednesday, September 15th.
Chasity Larios got the word out to our members, the press, and the public, and Emma Cravey rounded up food for the volunteers. Steve Barnick, Emma, Gary Beyer, and Tom Weber volunteered to be shift leaders.
We had a great volunteer turnout. For once, we had more volunteers than we could put to work. Groups who volunteered included American Youth Works and T-3 Training, Tri-Zones Training, Gilbert’s Gazelles, Jack & Adams, Rogue Running, Social Cycling Austin, Team in Training, and Carmen Troncoso Running. Several news stations put out the call, includng Fox 7, KVUE, News 8, and KXAN. More than a hundred responded, and we were able to put about six dozen to work. We might have done more, but the staff was overwhelmed by the turnout.
We got a lot done. We shoveled up the gravel that was deposited outside the upstream dam; scrubbed the shallow end floor, pushed sediment out of the sagittaria plants growing along the ‘beach’ area, aerated the soil on the south hillside, scrubbed handrails, and more.
There’s still more to do, and we have our regularly scheduled cleaning coming up October 7. Sign up by emailing service @ friendsofbartonspringspool.org.
Help wanted. Hardworking pool stewardship organization seeking new communications director. Must be talented, energetic, and willing to work long hours without pay. Email appllication to president @ freindsofbartonspringspool.org.
Gravel bar. Major flood debris will be removed from the Pool in November. The City Council approved the contract unanimously. The Pool will be closed for most of November, though Deep Eddy wll be open for extended hours. After the removal of the gravel and debris, cleaning the Pool will be much more effective.
Bypass tunnel. Members of the FBSP board and the Barton Springs Plan Coordinating Committee met recently with Watershed Director Victoria Li and staff to discuss the problems with the bypass tunnel repair effort. Staff has promised a written response soon.