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Residents hope for temporary fix while waiting for Channel Improvement Project

Posted at 8:45 AM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 09:45:24-04

Currently, there is a study taking place held by the Port of Corpus Christi to improve the channels near Ingleside On The Bay.

Residents along Bayshore Dr. in Ingleside On The Bay have been dealing with water issues for the past couple of years. The issue comes from too much water thrown on residents backyards which is caused by the wake of vessels traveling through the channels. Bayshore Dr. residents sit on the La Quinta Channel, the La Quinta Channel runs straight to the La Quinta Junction. A few Bayshore residents claim that the wake from vessels leaving Corpus Christi Bay bring in large wakes that wash up on their property, causing heavy cleanup and damage concerns.

Bayshore Dr. resident, Michelle Morlan says, “from that direction they’re throwing wakes that are hitting us. They’re not just hitting us, they’re flooding us. They’re hitting us with a real, real hard, velocity.”

Morlan says that when she bought her home 7 years ago, there used to be a beach that sat behind the bulkhead near her home, which is one of the reasons she bought the house.

Michelle Morlan’s home on Bayshore Dr. showing the beach behind her house.
Michelle Morlan’s home on Bayshore Dr. showing the beach behind her house.

However, over the years, Morlan’s beach front home disappeared with the constant traffic from the passing vessels.

The beach has disappeared at Morlan’s home and now wakes from passing vessels splash up water onto her property.

Morlan says so much water washes up on her property that she cannot grow any grass, or keep anything on her backyard.

“We’re so exhausted sometimes to the point there is no dinner.” says Morlan, “because you’re cleaning the mess up, because if you don’t it’s gonna come under your walls.”

Morlan and many other residents with the same concerns spoke to their City Council and the Port of Corpus Christi several times over the past year to find a solution to the problem. The complaints soon prompted the Port of Corpus Christi to begin a study, called the channel improvement project.

“As part of the channel improvement project this area [Corpus Christi Bay] was developed or determined to be a good place for beneficial use area.” Port of Corpus Christi’s Director of Engineering, David Krams tells KRIS 6. “To have an area that could block or reduce the wave effects from those vessels that are transiting from west to east across the ship channel.”

Krams says the study costs around $100,000, is on track and is about 70% complete. The study will not be presented to the public until early 2019, but no date has been set. The channel improvement project includes all of the area of Ingleside on the Bay including Ingleside Cove. Krams says the study involves a numeric model being used to emulate the wakes caused by the vessels, this will help them understand what they need to do to help solve the wake effect. There are also no signs of speed zones or wake zones along the La Quinta Channel.

Morlan says that since the issue started, the Port has done a great job in slowing down vessels along the La Quinta Channel. But, currently the bulk of the wakes come from the La Quinta Junction as vessels leave Corpus Christi Bay.

Since the study will not be complete until the new year, residents along Bayshore Dr. are wondering if anything will be done before the study is complete.

“We’re not trying to be trouble makers, we’re not trying to give anybody a hard time, we work very hard for what we own. And we’re just trying to protect what’s ours,” says Morlan.