About This Place
South Padre Island is a town in Cameron County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Brownsville–Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,816 at the 2010 census. The town is located on South Padre Island, a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast accessible via a causeway from the town of Port Isabel. South Padre Island is named after José Nicolás Ballí (Padre Ballí), a Catholic priest and settler.
In September 1967, Hurricane Beulah caused extensive damage to much of the town of South Padre Island. On 23 July 2008, Hurricane Dolly made landfall on the island as a category 2 storm, also causing extensive damage to the town. In July 2010, the island received heavy rains from Hurricane Alex however the storm left the island generally unscathed. In September 2008 Hurricane Ike caused moderate damage to the island. The Bahia Mar Condominium had extensive damage and had to be gutted due to the damage. On December 13, 2009, an unfinished 31-story condominium, known locally as Ocean Tower, was brought down by a controlled implosion. Work had begun in 2006 but construction was halted in 2008 due to uneven settlement. As the problem could not be rectified, the incomplete reinforced concrete structure was demolished. It is believed to be one of the largest buildings to ever be imploded.
Subsequent to rebuilding from Hurricane Beulah, the island became a popular spring break destination for college students and other tourists. Many multistory resort hotels and condominiums have been erected along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico. The Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark, the second of its kind in Texas, opened in South Padre Island in 2001.