Hurricane Ike’s death and destruction vividly pointed out the need for protection from hurricane storm surge in the Houston-Galveston region. And, as bad as Ike was, we who live and work around Galveston Bay dodged a bullet. Before Ike hit, the forecast predicted a 25 foot storm surges up Galveston Bay. We were looking at possibly a $100 Billion hurricane, which could have killed hundreds, left thousands homeless and jobless and devastated the nation’s largest petrochemical complex and crippled its busiest port.
This terrible scenario can be prevented. We can apply best practices and existing technologies used in the Netherlands and New Orleans to protect our region. The coastal spine concept is the approach the Dutch used after their 1953 surge disaster. They shortened their coast by combining barriers and gates to keep surge out of internal waters. They shared their methods with New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and today New Orleans has the Greater New Orleans Barrier that protects the city from storm surge. We are using that knowledge here as a solution to protect the Galveston-Houston area.
We at Texas A&M University at Galveston have been privileged to work with Dutch institutions and other strong partners to better understand how to protect our region’s people, economy and environment from hurricane induced storm surge.
The Ike Dike website describes environmentally friendly, socially relevant efforts to use the proven technologies of the Ike Dike concept to prevent major storm surges. If you have any questions, or want to become part of this solution, contact Dr. Merrell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 409-740-4732. Welcome to the Ike Dike.
Texas storm surge plan mired in delays
Published On: Jun 04, 2015
In September 2008, Hurricane Ike roared ashore, bringing with it a wall of water that caused more than $50 billion in damage and claimed dozens of lives. Two months after Ike made landfall, Gov. Rick Perry announced the creation of the Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal and tapped former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels to lead the effort.
One of the recommendations from the commission was that Texas needed to do a study and come up with a plan to better protect this area's part of the coast from storm surge. Channel 2 Investigates has learned Phase 1 of that study was just completed in February, and the final phase of the study will not be complete until next summer, eight years after Ike. Read more