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Bob Hall Pier Closed Until Further Notice

Bob Hall Pier and the surrounding beach area will be closed to the public until further notice, announced Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales on July 28. The closure is due to damages from Hurricane Hanna, which struck the area as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, July 25. (Entrance Photo by Amber Weems; Storm Photo Courtesy)

Public access to the beach area around Bob Hall Pier and the pier itself will be closed off until it is deemed safe, announced Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales at a news briefing Tuesday, July 28, on the effects of Hurricane Hanna. The Coastal Bend fared well in the aftermath of the Category 1 storm, which made landfall 60 miles south of Corpus Christi at about 5 p.m. Saturday, July 25.

“There was no loss of life in Nueces County due to Hurricane Hanna, and that is the best result we could have asked for,” she said. “In my lifetime, this is the strongest surge I’ve ever seen. The National Weather Service confirmed that for me.”

According to the NWS, the storm surge from Hanna was 5.47 feet, higher than the 4.2 feet seen from Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Damage to Bob Hall Pier and the area around it was extensive. Parking lots were completely washed away as were the picnic structures. The 150-foot-by-16-foot T-head at the end of the pier is also gone.

“There is need for extensive cleanup and restoration,” Canales continued. “Complete parking lot reconstruction will be required.”

Also, railings, power lines, and light poles were destroyed. As for the underlying infrastructure, a full engineering analysis is necessary and already in the works. Underwater debris will need to be removed and all facilities completely repaired.

On Wednesday and Thursday, July 29-30, specially equipped drones will fly over the area as the first step in an engineer damage assessment. The drones will be provided by the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

Next week, divers will begin an underwater assessment of the pier. The county has already begun discussions with the General Land Office about renourishing the beaches.

“The dune line is no longer the same dune line,” Canales said, "and the beach line is no longer the same beach line. The erosion of the beach is truly significant.”

Maps will be posted on the Nueces County website to show where the public can enter the area and where they will not be allowed until further notice. Canales also promised good signage in the area to keep everyone safe.

“Together, we are going to weather this storm as well,” she said. “I know we can rebuild more resilient than ever before.”

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