Hurricane Laura’s impacts on our part of the Gulf Coast should be minimal, but crews have already prepared area beaches.
Storm surge from Laura is pushing the surf up to the dunes.
With Laura making landfall further up the Gulf Coast, Nueces County’s coastal parks department is taking a wait and see approach to preparations.
"We’ve gotten everything off the beach that could possibly float away,” said Coastal Parks Director Scott Cross. “Trash cans, up in Port A we have port-o-potties and restrooms, we pulled all that stuff off.”
The National Weather Service predicts three feet of storm surge for our area, which is enough to reach the dunes.
“Our dunes have been weakened,” said Cross. “There are some vulnerable spots up and down the Nueces County coastline where they’ve been weakened.”
Cross is worried about Laura taking more sand out of the dune system. Hanna took several feet off of the coastline.
“I can’t afford to lose any more sand,” said Cross. “I need to keep all the sand I’ve got in the system. I’m hopeful that this thing ends up bringing me some more sand.”
Even though Laura was still hours from landfall Wednesday afternoon, surf was up.
“We heard there was going to be a tropical storm, we heard the waves were going to be pretty good,” said Ronan Melloul.
Melloul and a friend drove all the way from Austin just to hang ten.
“We caught some action closer to the shore, farther out it was a little more difficult to get up,” Melloul said.
If conditions deteriorate, Cross says his crews are ready if tides rise higher than expected.
“If we see the storm surge, the tides getting higher and more aggressive, we’ve got a plan to execute immediately, so people can still can be out there on the beach,” he said.
Cross expects storm surge to be highest starting Wednesday evening, continuing into Thursday morning.
While Mayor Joe McComb signed an order keeping vehicles off the beach until Thursday morning, Cross says unless conditions take a turn for the worse, beach access won’t be blocked.