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Kleberg County preps for Hurricane Beryl; Judge orders voluntary evacuation

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Jul 07, 2024

KLEBERG COUNTY, Tx — Veronica Jimenez Gunter lives out by Riviera Independent School District and made a morning stop early Friday morning to pick up some sandbags from Precinct 3 County Commissioner Jerry Martinez for the upcoming potential Hurricane Beryl.

“Hurricanes are unpredictable. So it’s always better to be prepared and have an evacuation plan set,” Gunter said.

That’s exactly what Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid said they’ve got in place.

Madrid ordered a voluntary evacuation for those living in Baffin Bay, Loyola Beach, or other low-lying areas of the county.

“We learned from past experience that Baffin Bay is always hit the hardest. We’ve got a lot of residents there, a lot of new development, ” Madrid said.

Gunter said she knows people who are planning to evacuate or who have already left to stay safe.

The FEMA domes at H.M King High School will be used as shelter starting Saturday for those choosing to evacuate and will stay open until the county deems it safe to return. Those with trailers at Seawind can move their RV’s to the J.K Northway Expo Center, where they can park it free of charge to ride out the heavy wind and rains. Stable arenas will also be open for those needing to move livestock.

Transportation will be provided for those needing transportation by calling the Human Services Department at 361-455-8686.

The county is also sending out Meals on Wheels in advance for senior citizens in the area as a precautionary measure.

“If you can’t get to us, we’ll come to you. We’re covering all our bases. We’ll pick you up now. We’ve read this memo once or twice before; we’ve got it down. Here at Pan America, this FEMA dome will be reserved as a command post for highway patrol, border patrol, and base leadership if they need it,” Madrid said.

Madrid ordered three 18-wheeler full loads of sandbags for those in need. They will be given out Friday until 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Locations are as follows:

Precinct 1: 1910 E. Trant Rd.

Precinct 3: 433 E. CR

Precinct 4: 622 N. 14th

Each household can receive up to six sandbags, but residents can speak with the commissioner when they arrive if they need more.

“What we won't be is caught by surprise, so we always prepare. Proactive — a failure to plan is a plan to fail, so we got it,” Madrid said.

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