HOUSTON - Houston's mayor and a number of other South Texas leaders came together to get the ball rolling on the long discussed $11 billion 'Ike Dike.'
"What we are looking at now is approximately 850-foot wide floating gates that we can close in that period sometime before the storm comes ashore to prevent the pre-surge from coming in to the bay," says Morgan's Point Mayor Michel Bechtel. "In addition to that, you're going to close the bounds of that with gates, which prevents the high tides basically from coming into Galveston Bay."
Mayor Sylvester Turner says the Ike Dike or coastal spine would protect Houston and its surrounding areas from storm surge caused by future storms.
"When it comes to the storm surge, I don't think it matters if you're on the coast, or you are in the City of Houston, or whether or not you are further in," said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
While storm surge wasn't the main problem with Hurricane Harvey for Houston, Hurricane Ike, in 2008, made a direct hit on Galveston with a 10 to 15 foot storm surge and caused $30 billion in damages.
"We did not get a direct hit from the hurricane, we had a major rainfall event," said Turner. "But the port in and of itself was shut down, refineries stopped. It's only prudent as we rebuild in Texas and especially on the coast, that we provide the funding for the coastal spine."
The message coming out of Houston City Hall is essentially, we can't afford not to do this project. That's why Mayor Turner is asking that the Coastal Spine be included in the $15 billion federal aid package.
The aid package is currently on President Trump's desk. No word on when or how the money for the Coastal Spine would be added.
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