HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) – Hurricane season officially began June 1st, but the city of South Padre Island has been working since last year’s historic season to make sure it is ready.
Nine storms moved through the Gulf of Mexico during the 2020 hurricane season, one of those, Hanna, made landfall in Kennedy County in late July.
While the island did not see devastating effects from Hanna, its dunes and protective barrier certainly suffered impacts.
South Padre Island shoreline director Kristina Boburka said each storm in the Gulf brought “more destruction to the dunes themselves.”
She also adds the White Sands Beach Acess was one of the hardest-hit areas.
“There used to be about 20 more feet of dunes in this area, and if you get close you can still see the root structures there, so hopefully those are still in place we can work on building those back to where they were so that we have that protection in the long run,” said Boburka.
That protection will be paramount in protecting the island from future storms, which the National Weather Service believes could be more intense over the next several decades.
Laura Farris from NWS Brownsville also adds “there will be fewer storms but the storms will be stronger in intensity.”
The 2021 hurricane season’s official forecast calls for 3-5 major hurricanes this year, with the average being just three.