Local News

May 9, 2013 3:21 PM by Meteorologist Matt Terhune

Storm Surge Gates Practice

CORPUS CHRISTI- With the start of hurricane season right around the corner, it was all hands-on-deck today as city workers prepared for the worst case scenario.

City officials have always been worried about storm surge flooding in the downtown area, similar to what could happen with a hurricane like Hurricane Celia in 1970.

Storm surge would go up the ship channel where it then would backflow into this drainage canal.

So the city built these gates with the hope of protecting downtown.

These aluminum plank gates around the bayfront protect us from major flooding.

Corpus Christi storm crews tested this one near north port avenue, and they want to make sure they're ready for the next major storm surge.

City Storm Water Work Coordinator, Ernest Chavez says, "They're aluminum planks and what they do is, it's like a wall and they protect the water that comes from the ship channel, that back surge that will run into the downtown area."

Workers would do this exercise in real life if a major storm threatened the city.

In addition to the seawall, these gates all tie in together like one main loop to protect the downtown business area from expensive flood damage.

It takes 45 workers to get the walls up pretty quickly when necessary.
on this day, everything checked out okay and crews are confident the city is prepared for whatever may come our way.

Ernesto Chavez says, "The drill is at least once a year and any time we've got a tropical storm out in the gulf, they end up telling us in city hall to get it ready and we'll get it ready and within 4 hours we'll have it up."

They hope their practice makes it perfect, if and when a surge threatens downtown.

Meteorologist Matt Terhune, KRIS 6 News.

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