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Ingleside on the Bay residents say passing ships are damaging their properties

Posted at 8:00 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 21:00:47-04

INGELSIDE ON THE BAY, Texas — For many, living on the Bay and listening to the sound of waves is a dream, but for Michelle Mack, who lives in Ingleside on the Bay, that dream has become a nightmare.

“We bought the house because we like to watch the ships and the boats,” Mack said.

However, Mack said those cargo ships are passing by more frequently and going a lot faster in the past 8 years.

She said it wasn’t a problem when she first moved into her house 11 years ago, but it’s an issue that’s increasingly causing damage to her patio, driveway and columns holding up her house.

It’s also affecting something more sentimental, a garden dedicated to her daughter who passed away about a month ago.

“How does that make you feel?” I asked her.

“Like I want to throw up. How insensitive,” she said.

She contacted the Port of Corpus Christi, but she said they weren’t any help.

“We were told to our face by the Port CEO at the Brass Turtle that we don’t maintain our property here. You see my yard because of the saltwater, but I like to think that we maintain our house very well,” Mack said.

KRIS 6 News requested an interview with the Port of Corpus Christi, but they couldn’t accommodate it.

They gave this statement instead:

“Waterway traffic traversing the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel is monitored 24/7 by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, and rules are enforced by the US Coast Guard and the Aransas Corpus Christi Pilots," the statment read. "Vessel owners are liable for damages caused by allisions or collisions. Likewise, property owners bear the responsibility for properly bulkheading their properties from erosion and overtopping. The Port of Corpus Christi remains committed to safe vessel transits and works closely with all stakeholders to ensure safe passage."

Mack said she also contacted Ingleside on the Bay officials and the Coast Guard, but they weren’t any help. She said the solution would be for ships to go slower.

“We are not unreasonable people, we are not asking for anything that is unattainable. All we’re asking for is respect,” she said.

However, it’s not just Mack with the problem. Her neighbor Sheila Walton, who lives five doors down, said like Mack, she uses an app to track how fast ships are going and said they are going too fast.

She said water also crosses over her bulk head, which she said was a little higher than Mack’s, and damages her grass and dock.

“There’s nothing out there. It’s just a straight stretch. They’re using it as a racetrack,” Walton said while looking out at the water.

Shane Chiddix is in the same boat, saying his property also gets damaged when cargo ships send whipping waves towards his house.

“Some of them come in unassisted without any tugboats and they’re coming in at way more than 6 knots and they do a lot of damage as well,” Chiddix said.