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Students help clean up in Seguin

Nov. 10, 1998

BY SUSAN SEARFOSS

Staff Writer

Susan_Searfoss@baylor.edu

Six members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chose to forgo Steppin' Out Oct. 31 in order to lend a hand to flood victims in South Texas. Jeffrey Weir, a Seguin junior, lead five of his fraternity brothers to his hometown to aid the community.

Seguin is a small town of 28,000 people, approximately thirty minutes east of San Antonio. On the weekend of Oct. 17, the area was deluged with nearly two feet of rain, and water levels rose 20 feet above established flood plain.

'My mom called and said . . . my aunt's house was gone,' Weir said. 'The whole town was pretty much underwater. I was thinking since we had service coming up what it would be like if we took some guys down there.'

After suggesting the trip during a meeting, several members decided to join Weir in his personal cause. Josh Murr, a Rockwall sophomore, Lance Leishman, a San Antonio sophomore, Jeffrey Paul, a Waco sophomore, Andy Wilson, a Camarillo, Calif., senior and Roberto Diaz, a Killeen junior, agreed to make the trip.

They traveled to Seguin on Oct. 30, and Murr said what he saw was not what he thought would be there.

'I thought it was the worst thing I've ever seen in my entire life,' he said. 'It was horrible. I thought when we went down there it was just going to be minor stuff, but we got there and I was so surprised by how much a river could do to a community.'

The damage in Seguin was great, and many things needed to be done.

'We went to the river bottoms and started taking apart houses,' Weir said. 'My uncle's roof was on top of another roof 200 yards away. Basically we were just doing cleanup in the mud, like finding [someone's] great-grandmother's quilt that she had made and getting mud off it.'

Murr described boats being in yards and 'cars in trees.'

'My house has been hit by tornadoes, but that was nothing compared to this,' he said.

After working for eight hours, Weir said he felt like they had quite a bit.

'When we left, it looked better,' he said. 'But if someone were to come down right after we left, they would say, 'what did you do?''

The entire experience proved valuable for the group, but Weir said one memory stands out in his mind.

'The cool part was that the whole community pulled together,' he said. 'You don't really think every day what would happen if there was mass destruction, but everyone really came together as one big family.'

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