Corpus Christi, Port Aransas Reopen Beaches
Nueces County beaches reopened to vehicle traffic Monday, Aug. 17, except for a 7-mile stretch from Bob Hall Pier to Padre Island National Seashore due to damage from Hurricane Hanna on July 25. However, a beach curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. will remain in effect. Beaches were closed to vehicles from Port Aransas to Corpus Christi to discourage out-of-town visitors and help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“I believe the beach order helped flatten the curve, and I believe it helped to save lives,” said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales at the daily city/county news briefing Aug. 14. “I believe this beach order served its purpose.”
In effect for over five weeks, the beach order reduced crowds during a time when the area was experiencing massive increases in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, Canales continued. She also explained why she was not leaving the order in place if it was so effective.
“There's a balancing act to protect public health and safety but also to protect the freedoms that we cherish,” she said. “We will always be monitoring what is happening in our community. Anytime I believe that we are not moving that needle down, we will gather together and decide what to do.”
All Port Aransas access roads on Mustang Island will be open but not all Padre Island access roads in Corpus Christi.
On Padre Island, Access Road 4 is closed and will probably remain closed for another week or more. Open are Access Road 5, Whitecap Drive, and Padre Balli Park Drive. Vehicles only will be allowed to drive north from Padre Balli Park.
“From south of Bob Hall Pier all the way to (Padre Island National Seashore) is a debris field like you cannot imagine,” Canales said. “That’s a seven-mile stretch. Lifting vehicular restrictions will be achieved on Monday; Mother Nature’s restrictions are still there. Some beaches will remain closed because of the second disaster that is Hurricane Hanna.”
To follow the latest news on COVID-19 in Corpus Christi, check the Corpus Christi Business News' COVID-19 Resource Page.
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