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SPI Sets Plans for City Due to Tropical Depression Harvey

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SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – Several of South Padre Island residents are taking no chances when it comes to flood preparations.

In anticipation of some possible heavy rain due to Tropical Depression Harvey, SPI officials announced that the city started distributing sand Wednesday at the convention center.

"Now that it's on the forefront of people's mind, it's preparation,"said SPI Fire Chief Doug Fowler.

Fowler and his emergency management team are closely monitoring the tropical depression. It could possibly bring high tides or flooding to the Rio Grande Valley coastline later this week.

"We've been getting our personel and vehicles prepared and communicating with the public," said Fowler.

That preparation was seen first-hand Wednesday, as crews filled sandbag after sandbag for island residents.

"This is the first major storm I've seen, just getting some sand for the house," said new SPI resident Dave Evans.

Evans recently moved to the island. He's worried because his freshly-painted house sits low to the ground, just steps from the beach.

"If it rains too much, hopefully we won't wash away," Evans said.

Regardless of what track the storm takes, the city is wants residents to be ready.

"If you live on the island, there's certain things you need to do, get stay kit, or go kit, depending on conditions. Have your papers and prescription medicine ready to go," suggested Fowler.

Other on the island are holding out on hope for a dry weekend. CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with people from the Houston area riding down Padre Blvd in a golf cart.

"Just give us a break. Go destroy some other island. Go hit somewhere else, just give us a break," said Bobby Cruz with a laugh.

For residents on the island, the city said to make sure they have an evacuation sticker. Anytime in the future, if there is an evacuation, they'll be able to get back on the island earlier than visitors. Stickers can be picked up at city hall.

The city is encouraging everyone to sign up for emergency notifications. Anyone can do so by visiting MySPI.org to sign up for alerts by text or email.

Fowler said distribution of sandbags will continue through Wednesday at the public works workshop until 5 p.m. and again Thursday starting at 7 a.m.

The site is self-bagging, meaning the bags and sand are provided for free, but residents and businesses will need to take their own shovels to fill their own bags.

Bags will be available for pickup at the SPI Public Works Workshop, located at the corner of West Venus and Laguna Blvd.

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