Storm briefly floods Laguna Madre area

Seen are both lanes of Padre Boulevard on South Padre Island near Red Snapper St. Photo by John Doan.

By Gaige Davila 

Flooding, debris and down traffic lights greeted Laguna Madre residents Wednesday afternoon as a large storm made a brief pass through the area. 

The storm traveled from Hidalgo County to Cameron County during the early morning hours of May 19, moving up to Willacy County before moving down to the coast, nearly three inches of rain in Port Isabel and less than three hours, according to Tornado warnings and watches were issued for north Willacy County. 

Flash flood warnings were issued by the National Weather Service to Brownsville and Port Isabel as rains came down, momentarily flooding the intersections of Hwy 100 and Garcia, Musina, Gomez and Second streets. The Port Isabel Police Department closed Second St. after streets near Derry Elementary were flooded. 

On South Padre Island, both lanes of Padre Boulevard were flooded entirely for several blocks. From the top of B&S Kites, part-owner John Doan said the flooding was “as far as you can see north and south of (his) location,” he told the PRESS. 

The Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway remained open with no plans to close it, Port Isabel Police Department (PIPD) Chief Robert Lopez told the PRESS. 

A power pole snapped near the intersection of Hwy 100 and Beacon Bay Drive, just past Port Isabel High School (PIHS), shutting off power for most of Laguna Heights. Power outages occurred sporadically through Port Isabel, affecting mostly traffic lights between Hwy 48 and Hwy 100 to Hwy 100 and Wal-Mart. AEP Texas crews responded immediately to the down power line near PIHS, just as another line snapped from its harness between Double Days Bar & Grill and Dairy Queen, dangling above passing traffic. 

In Laguna Vista, homes along the Laguna Madre experienced dock damage. Yards flooded intermittently across the neighborhood.

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic hosted at PIHS for students 12-to-15 years old was postponed until Thursday, due to the weather. 

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