Surge pro­tec­tion

Houston Chronicle - - WORLD -

Start now

Re­gard­ing “Cost must be con­sid­ered in build­ing surge bar­rier” (Page A17, Thurs­day), the op-ed sug­gests that Hous­ton get a move on and in­stall a ba­sic storm surge pro­tec­tor for up­per Galve­ston Bay rather than wait for the po­lit­i­cal stars to align and pro­vide us the Ike Dike many miles south at Galve­ston. I’m all for it.

We can­not let the per­fect be the en­emy of the good. If the petro­chem­i­cal plants lin­ing the ship chan­nel north of Mor­gan’s Point were heav­ily dam­aged, the bay would be­come a toxic soup. Cleanup, if it were even pos­si­ble, would cost many bil­lions more than the surge bar­rier.

In­dus­tries that rely on the bay for plea­sure would be wiped out by dam­age that lasts for­ever, but the chem­i­cal plants would just re­build and res­tart.

The op-ed won­ders, where will the money come from? Those chem­i­cal plants and ship­ping busi­nesses on the chan­nel should pay for a large part of the surge pro­tec­tion and its main­te­nance. Let’s tell them it’s lit­i­ga­tion pro­tec­tion. Sarah Ter­rell, Hous­ton.

Per­mit­ting codes

As South Texas con­tin­ues to be del­uged with analy­ses and pro­pos­als from near and far about how to mit­i­gate the ef­fects of storms like Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, few are re­fer­ring to Galve­ston’s re­sponse to the great storm of 1900. Not only did Galve­sto­ni­ans build a sea­wall to pro­tect build­ings from wave ac­tion, but they raised en­tire sec­tions of the city by as much as 15 feet. These ar­eas sur­vived Hur­ri­cane Ike and re­lated storms with lit­tle dam­age, while ar­eas not raised were flooded by wa­ters from the bay side of the is­land, not from the Gulf.

A sim­ple change to per­mit­ting codes re­quir­ing all por­tions of new con­struc­tion be­low the high­est recorded flood level to be sub­mersible would go a long way to­ward rec­og­niz­ing that with three 100-year or 500-year floods in the past 10 years, the old sys­tems of hy­drol­ogy and prob­a­bil­ity analy­ses can­not keep up with the Hous­ton area’s growth and un­pre­dictable cli­mate. Ge­orge McKee, Cy­press

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.