The City of Corpus Christi has issued more than 70 citations against the company in charge of the Lake Padre Development on the Gulf side of Park Road 22 on Padre Island due to the problem of sand blowing from the property.
The sand has been a growing nuisance for Padre Island residents and businesses, but now it is generating medical concerns as well. Some say they are getting sick.
Kiii News Reporter Briana Whitney went Live from Padre Island with the details.
"I spent a couple of hours a couple Saturdays ago in the 40 mph gusts in that section in the Island that was affected at that time, and then I had a hacking, phlegming cough since then," said Mary Craft, a longtime Padre Island resident.
Craft has lived on the Island for 20 years and is just one of the many Island residents who claim the particulate sand blowing in the air from the project for months now has caused health problems. She was diagnosed with bronchial irritation and prescribed steroids and an inhaler, and Island doctors can back up her claim. They say they are seeing more patients than usual for those same symtoms.
"We're seeing some exacerbations in their asthma that's probably due to the different respiratory irritants that are in the air here," said Dr. Tom Dorrell, President of Medical Care on Padre Island. "We see a little bump in that that we're attributing to the sand."
City Councilman Greg Smith said yes, the developer had a fence put in to create dunes to try and prevent some of the sand from blowing, but that was four months ago and nothing has been done since. So the City and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are taking action.
"The City side has issued 72 citations for violations to City Code with total fines at almost $62,000," Smith said.
The TCEQ has launched an air quality investigation after receiving seven complaints.
Developer Paul Schexnailder said he received a permit from the TCEQ last week to install a $100,000 sprinkler system next week to try and help the vegetation grow to lessen the sand and dust; but he also said he can't control the weather.