South Padre Beaches, Water Clear, City Says

South Padre Island and Cameron County say beaches are open and water and bacteria levels in the Gulf of Mexico are normal.

The city released the statement Tuesday after some expressed concern about the water in the gulf and the affect it may have on Padre's beaches after some Texas lakes had higher than normal bacteria levels after early-summer flooding.

"The City of South Padre Island receives weekly reports regarding the safety of our water from the University of Texas Pan-American Coastal Studies Laboratory. The UTPA Coastal Studies Laboratory tests several locations along the island, and to date have not had a sample come back with high enough levels of bacteria to trigger a warning," the city said in a statement.

Separately, scientists said the dead zone in the gulf is the 11th largest and bigger than predicted -- covering nearly 6,500 square miles.

Visitors to South Padre Island beaches can check the conditions of the surf using the flag system -- which indicates daily conditions on the beach.

Swimmers and beachgoers can also keep up with water quality by visiting the Texas General Land Offices beach website at

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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