Hurricane Watch Issued for South Texas, Queen Isabella Causeway Reopens
UPDATE (1:50 PM): Officials say the Queen Isabella Causeway has reopened for traffic.
The Department of Public Safety ordered a partial closure of Queen Isabella Causeway early Friday afternoon. Only the eastbound lanes were closed and residents were allowed to enter as long as they showed proof of residency.
No high-profile vehicles were permitted.
An earlier version of this story erroneously reported the bridge had been completely closed.
Count on us to bring you more updates.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – A hurricane watch was issued by the National Weather Service for south Texas on Thursday.
The city of South Padre Island announced a voluntary evacuation for residents and business owners. The city is asking for people to secure their property if they choose to evacuate.
Due to the wind projections, the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway is likely to close as early as midnight and could remain closed for 12 to 15 hours.
According to a press release issued by the city of South Padre Island:
The National Weather Service has predicted that South Padre Island will be affected by wind gusts of 45 – 70 miles per hour, expected to begin at 3 a.m. on Friday. Rainfall is predicted to be anywhere from 3 – 7 inches beginning Thursday. Surf is expected to reach 12 – 15 feet; Surge well into and possibly over the dunes, causing coastal flooding over a prolonged period beginning today through Friday afternoon.
Beginning at 7 p.m, the city will have a check point for people entering the island, and discouraging entry to non-residents and non-business owners.
The city stated city beaches will be closed effective 2 p.m. And re-entry stickers will not be issued after 7 p.m. Stickers will be available at the police department.
(Related: Sandbag Distribution Sites)
Starting on Friday, the city will be closed to non-emergency functions and the Island Metro will suspend services.
Once the storm has passed, South Padre island officers will be verifying and screening all those wishing to return to SPI.
After authorities have advised it is safe to return, residents and business owners will be allowed entry. Residents will need to have re-entry stickers on their vehicles.
Business owners will need to determine essential personnel and make arrangements for those people to have re-entry stickers on their vehicles.
The island may be without electricity and/or water for several days.
South Padre Island Official Telephone Numbers
Storm Information Hotline 956-761-8101
City Hall 956-761-6456
Fire Department 956-761-3040
Police Department 956-761-5454
Health and Code Enforcement 956-761-3226
Building Department 956-761-3217
Emergency Management 956-761-3210
Cameron County Judge 956-544-0830
Office of Emergency Management 956-547-7000
State of Texas Department of Public Safety 956-440-6700
State of Texas Department of Transportation 956-542-2288
National Weather Service 956-504-1631