SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – The City of South Padre Island is closing several beach access locations due to unsafe conditions along the shore. This year, the phenomenon known as “Winter Beach” is combining with high tides to create dangerous small cliffs and sudden drops along the north end of island.
This year the change has made it impossible and unsafe for some beach goers to enter city beach access 22 and 23. The reason, the high tide has formed small cliffs on the walkways creating a three to four-foot drop.
Kristina Boburka, Shoreline Director – South Padre Island, “What we’re going through right now is called a winter beach. The waves are going to be hitting the dunes more so than they do so typically during the summer. What happens, it creates this scarping and essentially what you’re seeing a cliff in the dunes.”
The process occurs every year. However, it’s not always as steep. Although the beach may seem to be eroding at an alarming pace, the local shoreline manager tells us it’s completely natural.
“The sand is redistributed. With those higher tides it’s taking the sand out and it’s stored in our near shore sand bars. By summertime we will see our normal large wide beach.” said Boburka.
The city plans to close off the affected regions for safety concerns. The affected areas are close to the northern end of the city beaches, with most beach access locations easily accessible and unaffected.
Boburka says, “Right here in the north end is where we’re seeing these higher tides and we do have 27 other beach access that are ready to use.”
The shoreline director says that access 22 and 23 will remain closed until the beaches re-form naturally.