Hurricane may cause beach erosion, dangerous waves

As Hurricane Delta cuts a path north across the western Gulf of Mexico Friday, a number of coastal warnings will remain in effect and the possibility exists for a portion of Highway 100 to be closed on South Padre Island.

The National Weather Service in Brownsville says the hurricane is expected to cause beach and dune erosion on the Island and force some road closures, similar to when Tropical Storm Beta passed through the area in late September.

The bands of the hurricane cover much of the Gulf of Mexico, so tides are expected to rise and gulf waters will cross public beach access points. State Highway 100 is forecast to have water crossing over the road from County Beach Access No. 4 and northward. Forecasters say they anticipate more than one foot of water crossing Gulf Boulevard and say driving on any of the beaches will be impossible, even for those who own four-wheel drive vehicles.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. has ordered the temporary closure of Boca Chica Beach, County Beach Accesses No. 3, No.4, No.5, and No. 6 until further notice.

These County beaches are closed to all incoming vehicular and pedestrian traffic to protect the safety and well-being of the general public in light of precautionary weather conditions and high tides, Trevino said.

Officials said waves, tides, and winds call for undriveable land conditions and ask that all individuals be cautious when visiting our beaches and heed the advice of thelifeguards and the Flag Advisory System signage at all times.

County beach areas on South Padre Island such as Isla Blanca Park and Andy Bowie County Park will remain open until further notice.

A coastal flood warning expires this morning, but a high surf warning and high rip current risk all remain in effect through 7 p.m. tonight for coastal Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy counties. The NWS says the high surf warning means dangerous waves off the coast will reach 10 to 14 feet as the hurricane moves parallel to the Valley. The rip currents are said be to life threatening, causing even the most experienced swimmers or surfers to possibly drown. They also warn anglers not to fish on the Brazos Santiago Pass Jetties because breaking waves could sweep them into the water.

The hurricane may periodically bring showers or strong storms with heavy rains and wind gusts up to 30 mph or even higher to South Texas. But as Hurricane Delta continues on its path to Louisiana, the weather and beach conditions in the Valley will improve by the weekend.

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Delta

dmaldonado@brownsvilleherald.com