After Harvey, Houston Behind Ike Dike


In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the long-discussed "Ike Dike" is once again a hot topic of discussion in southeast Texas.  The massive proposed barrier along the Texas coast has been a centerpiece of Galveston's plans to prepare for a future storm after Ike's devastation in 2008.  Now, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has joined the calls for the barrier to protect the entire region from possible storm surges.

 

Friendswood Congressman Brian Babin, whose district includes much of the area the Ike Dike would protect, says there is already a rough plan for what the project would entail.  "We'd have (flood) gates at Bolivar Roads down there in Galveston, plus an Earthen berm that would go from San Luis Pass at the south end of Galveston Island all the way to High Island, Texas," he tells KTRH.

 

Of course, the biggest issue is the price tag.  A 2016 study estimated such a project would cost $11 billion to protect the entire southeast Texas coastal region.  Babin believes Congress will have to get creative to come up with the money.  "It's simply going to be a matter of what type of private-public partnership and which public entities are going to be involved, to try to get the adequate funding to make this thing happen," he says.  

 

To that end, Babin believes there is already support for the plan among private business leaders in his district.  "A lot of the industry folks down there are very, very much interested in this project," he says.  "Now it's incumbent upon us to make sure as elected officials that we work as hard as we can to make sure this thing happens."


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