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.
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