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Valley Shrimpers in Path of Tropical Storm Cindy

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BROWNSVILLE – As tropical storm Cindy gets closer to making landfall, Rio Grande Valley shrimpers said they find themselves right in the middle of it.

Shrimp season is currently closed for the state of Texas. During this downtime, many shrimpers go to Louisiana or Mississippi.

Texas Shrimp Association executive director Andrea Hance said some of those boats are taking refuge.

"I checked and most of the boats have gone into channels. Some are up around Louisiana, Mississippi and even around Houston," she said.

Hance said she spent the day tracking her boats that are in the pathway of the storm. She said the waves out there are too much for their shrimp boats.

"Usually the maximum that these boats will be comfortable staying out is 12-feet waves, and that's pretty rough,” she said.

Hance said they are able to keep an eye on them at the shrimp basin thanks to technology.

She said she uses a program, called the Automatic Identification System, to track their ships.

As an example, Hance showed CHANNEL 5 NEWS one of her boats is anchored in Port Arthur.

"I can rest at ease knowing it's out of harm’s way,” she said.

While storms can be dangerous, Hance said shrimpers may be able to benefit from them.

"The storm can be a blessing because when the storm passes through, it turns things up on the bottom of the ocean including shrimp. So, we may be able to go out and catch more shrimp,” she said.

For now, Hance said her boats have no choice but to wait out the storm.

Hance said her ship captains are doing fine. She said they hope to get back out in the waters by the end of the week.

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