SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas - With a hurricane watch underway for all of South Texas, South Padre Island may be the first place to get a taste of Harvey.
The city issued a voluntary evacuation, but many residents said they’ll brave the storm, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
“Right now, we just need to be neighbors helping neighbors,” said South Padre Island resident Liz Money.
Like hurricane Harvey, South Padre Island residents are on the move, loading up sand bags in anticipation of any flooding.
“This is something that we do each time we have a storm. If you don’t prepare, you can really come to a loss,” said Money as she carried sandbags into her car.
Money has seen her fair share of storms in the 26 years she’s lived in South Padre. This one, however, she’s taking a bit more seriously.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. It can be a giant rain event, which is kind of what I’m hoping for. We need the rain here in the Valley. I just hope we don’t get a direct hit of any kind,” she said.
People across town are doing what they can, not knowing exactly what to expect.
“We’re just boarding up right now, just in case,” said one local liquor store employee seen boarding up the establishment’s windows.
Those who came to enjoy the beach are being told to pack up and enjoy the view indoors.
“The storm kind of detoured us, but we’re still going to have a good time,” said Jennifer Lowery, who found shelter from the rain at a nearby bar.
Barry Goldsmith, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said Harvey will leave it’s mark on the border region.
“We’re getting a glancing blow,” said Goldsmith about South Padre Island. “That will start coming later this evening and overnight in the form of outer rain bands and a few gusty winds. We’ll also see the tides run up the beach pretty quickly.”
Authorities are issuing these warnings for a hurricane expected to bring about devastation.
“Somebody in Texas is going to see feet in rainfall,” added Goldsmith.
As a precaution, authorities will be shutting down the Isabella causeway for the time being, which is the main access to the island.
Even though the area is expected to be spared from the worst part of the storm, experts say Harvey could still dump between 5-12 in. of rain.