Texas A&M Expert: Ike Dike Still Needed To Protect Galveston Area


Professor William Merrell says the plan proposed after Hurricane Ike in 2008 is still needed, and the Texas coast could again face catastrophic damage.

With two hurricanes currently tracking in the Gulf of Mexico, a Texas A&M University professor says the need for the Ike Dike is greater than ever to prevent catastrophic damage to areas around Galveston and Houston.

William Merrell, who holds the George P. Mitchell Chair in Marine Sciences at Texas A&M-Galveston and is a former president of the school, believes the Ike Dike concept would be highly effective. It is named for the devastating 2008 hurricane that slammed into Galveston, resulting in $30 billion in damages and killing more 50 people. The Ike Dike is modeled after the Delta Works project in The Netherlands, which built the complex following 1953 floods that killed more than 2,500. It’s believed not one death has occurred from flooding in the area since the Delta Works project was constructed.

For Texas, Merrell has proposed a “coastal spine” plan that would include barriers, levees and the heart of the Ike Dike — two enormous gates, each about the size of the Eiffel Tower, that would close off Galveston Bay from storm surge.

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