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Storm Surge Study Underway For Gulf Coastal States

A study is underway to prepare the Gulf Coast region for the next hurricane.


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NOAA hurricane imageNOAA image of Hurricane Ike.


A study is underway to prepare the Gulf Coast region for the next hurricane. 

Following Ike, the costliest hurricane in Texas history, Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order that led to the formation of the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District.

Initial hurricane studies done have led to two recommendations. Texas A&M-Galveston has a storm protection barrier plan known as the “Ike Dike“, while Rice University’s SSPEED-proposed the “Centennial Gate.”

“It’s a balance between with what Mother Nature does, not just from surge but from inland flooding that’s associated with a large storm. It’s a balance with what gets constructed, as far as being responsible to the environment. It’s a balance to ensure that people are protected (and the) industry is protected. I mean, it’s a complex issue,” says Christopher Sallese, a former head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston.

Sallese is now with Dannenbaum Engineering, the firm spearheading the project for the district

Engineers will look internationally to see how communities prepare and respond to weather related disasters.

Sallese says the goal is to recommend ways to protect people and infrastructure.

“What I don’t want to create is an illusion that because something gets built, now I’m safe,” said Sallese. “Because you still have effects of the storm. You still have wind. You still have rain. People will still need to evacuate,” says Sallese.

Findings from the Dannenbaum study will yield a plan for viable alternatives for the upper Texas Coast. It will be published in early 2016.

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