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Beachgoers heed red flag warning as Hurricane Ida produces strong rip currents

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-29 23:24:30-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It was a warm and sunny day on Sunday in the Coastal Bend despite Hurricane Ida hitting the coast in Louisiana only several hundred miles away, and some wanted to cool off by swimming at the beach.

The city of Corpus Christi issued a red flag warning because of Hurricane Ida's strong rip currents reaching our coastal beaches. The red flag means there are dangerous currents and that people should not be swimming past their waist.

Renetta Bennett is a resident of Corpus Christi, originally relocated from Houston. She was enjoying sitting under an umbrella at McGee Beach and went swimming for a little. She said she was relaxing before her shift on Monday, but knows it’s important to use safety when going out into the water.

“I make sure I don’t go no further than they recommend. I also make sure I have my….aware of my surroundings. If the waves get too high then I come back to shore,” Bennett said.

The seas were 8-12 feet on Sunday and some at McGee Beach were using floaties and life vests. Others were swimming above waist deep and defying the red flag warning.

Rhonda Rich was one of the people that was walking on the beach and not risking going out into the water. She said she just moved to Corpus Christi last week, but she had been to the beach in Corpus Christi before when visiting friends.

“Just know as far as your body can handle. If it seems a little too strong then don’t go out any further,” Rich said.

Geneva Gil was walking her dog King at the beach and making sure he wasn’t swimming where she couldn’t see his head. She said she always uses harnesses when walking her dogs, especially at the beach.

“We’re not going to let them loose to where the current will take them away, so we only let them go as far as we can walk over there and get them,” Gil said.

On Monday the rip current risk will be dropping down to moderate with 4-8 feet waves.