Tropical storm Beta brings higher tides to SPI

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) — Tropical storm Beta did not hit the Rio Grande Valley, but the effects of its storm surge can still be seen almost three weeks later. 

The Gulf has been busy this hurricane season, and even though only one storm hit the RGV, our shoreline feels the effects of all the others. Flattened sand and dunes that look like small cliffs line the South Padre Island (SPI) shoreline.  

“We do live on a barrier island, it is a very dynamic very system and we need to work with it because you never know what’s gonna happen,” said South Padre Island Shoreline Director, Kristina Boburka. 

When the water came as far as the shoreline bar, Wanna Wanna’s parking lot, their wooden sign wasn’t able to hold on. 

“It actually washed up two miles down the beach, the lifeguards found it and brought it back, but it was shattered in half,” said Wanna Wanna employee Shane Backus. 

Their solution to future storm surges was painted mural in place of the previous wooden one.  

Higher tides are normal during this time of year says Boburka. “We typically see higher tides come in the winter when we see the winter beach profile. And in the winter beach, we are not just losing beach but the sand is being redistributed along our shore and sandbars.” 

Seeing erroded dunes means they have been doing their job.  

“Back to back weeks of high tides kinda washed away the dunes that were kinda barriers from the tides before,” said Backus.   

“They are our first line of defense against anything, it’s great that we have that system out there, we do anything that we can to protect it and reinforce it,” said Boburka.  

For those along the shoreline, its just a matter of doing what they can when the tide comes. “We don’t do all that much we just board it up and put sandbags, there not much you can do, it’s just mother nature,” said Backus.  

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