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Minor flooding in Port Aransas, officials advise beachgoers be cautious

Posted at 3:14 PM, Sep 21, 2020

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — Although it avoided Tropical Storm Beta, the city of Port Aransas still is experiencing a level of storm surge that is causing flooding to happen in problematic areas.

The city’s planning and development director Rick Adams also acts as its emergency manager. He said Port Aransas is at the mercy of tide levels, which are now noticeably higher.

“As these tides are elevated and the water inundation is elevated, so goes our ability to move water out of our residential, commercial, our populated areas — to move that water out,” he said. “There’s no place for it to go it’s pushing up against more water as these tides are elevated.”

As a result, several areas are now marked with orange high-water warning signs.

“We’re seeing water that’s standing, which is — it’s pretty typical for us, given these circumstances,” he said. “Again, throw rain on top of that with saturated ground and then — like a lot of areas — we have that piling up as well.”

Jared Clark works at the restaurant Virginia’s On the Bay, which is right along the water. It had to close for the day because the water was reaching the eatery's entrance.

“I’ve never seen it come over the jetties like this,” Clark said in the partially-flooded parking lot. “It is kind of a little bit of a surprise.”

Adams said all Port Aransas beaches were closed to vehicular traffic on Saturday night. While they are open to pedestrians, he asks that locals and tourists alike practice caution.

“During rising tides, water is all the way up to the dunes, which creates — for a small jurisdiction with limited police and EMS capacity — we worry about our visitors, and even our citizens getting into a situation that’s dangerous,” he said. “Beach flooding is an issue that we do see still ongoing with this storm. We expected to continue at least through the day — probably into tomorrow. That’s probably one of the focus areas right now for us, is making sure we’re keeping people safe, given that dangerous beach condition.”