Tropical Storm Beta's storm surge already flooding Galveston Co. towns

Monday, September 21, 2020
Whoa! Kemah Boardwalk pounded by storm surge
Beta's presence was certainly felt in the typically busy Kemah Boardwalk. The video shows how the Galveston County attraction took on the storm's impactful waves.

KEMAH, Texas (KTRK) -- Communities along Galveston Bay became flood zones before Tropical Storm Beta's anticipated landfall well south of the area.

On Monday morning, bayside towns like Seabrook and Kemah took on flooded roadways due to the storm surge.

By late morning, Kemah's piers served as splash zones as one of our Eyewitness News crews captured winds of up to 20 mph. The Kemah Boardwalk, which would typically be filled with amusement-seeking visitors, was empty as more forceful waves crashed against the piers.

WATCH: ABC13's Courtney Fischer gets close to the waves crashing in Kemah

By late morning on Monday, hours before the anticipated landfall of Beta, Galveston Bay communities like Kemah served as splash zones, which proved to be a challenge for our ABC13 crews, as seen in the video.

The streets of nearby Seabrook were already covered by water as well.

WATCH: SkyDrone13's flight over the water-covered streets in Seabrook

Folks living along coastal Galveston Bay already felt the effects of Tropical Storm Beta before landfall. The video captured by SkyDrone 13 in Seabrook is further proof. (Footage shot morning of Sept. 21, 2020.)

Voluntary evacuations have been issued for the West End of Galveston Island, Bolivar Peninsula, areas of the city of La Marque outside the levee system, Dickinson, Jamaica Beach, Kemah, Tiki Island and Bayou Vista.

TxDOT suspended ferry service from Galveston to Bolivar due to the weather conditions.

Audris and Ken Thornton live on the bayside area in Jamaica Beach and plan on staying to weather out the storm. Audris said she was surprised to see the high tides caused local flooding in neighborhoods so early on before landfall.

"Where we're standing was covered in water," she said as she showed ABC13 around the affected area. "It did not get into our garage but it was up close. This entire lot was covered over here, no grass. The house across the street, they had water in their garage."

Meanwhile, an Eyewitness News viewer sent video of the flooding as vehicles were driving down a main road also on the bayside area. Some beach access roads were also closed due to flooding.

The major concerns due to Tropical Storm Beta are the possibility of storm surge, tide levels making roads impassable (especially along the west end and low lying areas), strong winds and the amount of rainfall expected over the next couple of days.

"Everybody stay safe," Ken said.

Late Monday morning, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said there is already localized flooding on State Highway 87 on Bolivar Peninsula and as far north as Walter Hall Park in League City that backs up to Clear Creek.

Galveston and Clear Creek ISDs also canceled classes ahead of the landfall.

Scholes Airport announced it will also close ahead of Beta's landfall after flooding caused by the storm surge and high tides.

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