Coastal Defense Experts Say Ike Dike Won’t Be Enough Without a Backup Wall

COASTAL DEFENSE EXPERTS SAY IKE DIKE WON’T BE ENOUGH WITHOUT A BACKUP WALL With the public comment period underway on the Ike Dike proposal the Army Corps issued last month, Rice University scientist Jim Blackburn weighs in on the project: “We think that there is too much remaining surge exposure,” he tells the Chronicle‘s Nick Powell on behalf of the research team he heads. Why’s that? “The storms that are being analyzed by the Corps are, in my opinion, too small,” Blackburn says. “They’re just not making landfall at the worst locations, with the type of wind fields and characteristics we’re seeing.” Had the Corps’ methodology accounted for a worst-case storm, says Blackburn, its analysts would’ve seen that the projects they proposed — 70 miles worth of walls and gates between High Island and San Luis Pass — are inadequate without a key addition: an upstream gate that’d run across the middle of Galveston Bay, further shielding the Ship Channel and its adjacencies from floodwaters. “We are going to argue that to any governmental entity that is interested,” says Blackburn, adding, “I think we need options. If all of our eggs are in a $30 billion federal appropriation, that just sounds too risky to me.” One key selling point for the gate: It could be built in about half the time the other proposals would take and at a fraction of their cost, says Blackburn, between $3 billion to $5 billion. [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Map of Ike Dike proposal: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

7 Comment

  • The ACOE needs to stop building these projects that eventually cause MORE harm. Another disastrous boondoggle in the making. Jim Blackburn hopefully will litigate the hell out of this proposed waste of TAXPAYERS $$$$. He’s right re: the upstream gate across Galveston Bay. And the ACOE is NOT including 500 year storms which are NOW the NORM !!

  • $3 to $5billion is bad enough, but $30 billion? Seems like a lot of buy outs and property elevation could be done with that.

  • When you start thinking you can control Mother Nature, you make a fool out of yourself

  • To expensive. The Metro area isn’t worth wasting $30 billion in federal dollars on. Hard truth, it probably would be cheaper if they cut out protection for Boliver and instead recommend retreating from it altogether. Boliver Peninsula doesn’t have sufficient population or historical structures as Galveston has, to suffice for such an expensive project that’s likely not going to work anyway as future storms keep growing in massive strength.

  • Damn right, don’t mess with Mother Nature. Just ask the Dutch. Or take a look at the River Thames outlet.

  • I think it is a horrible idea, all of them. But who is pushing this, home builders, city officials, big oil? Seems like with all of the money oil is putting in the TX coast (and the need to be right on the water) they are the ones driving this ship. I would just think the oil guys would be smarter than this.

  • I think you guys forgot to post the Chronicle’s follow on story Nick Powell wrote on Nov. 15th where the Rice Researchers made innacuate statements about the research the Corps actually did. Galveston County Daily News also reported the same.