A $26 billion plan to avoid wasting the Houston space from rising seas

When Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008, Invoice Merrell took shelter on the second ground of a historic brick constructing in downtown Galveston, Texas, alongside along with his spouse, their daughter, their grandson, and two Chihuahuas. Sustained winds of 110 mph lashed the constructing. Seawater flooded the bottom ground to a depth of over eight ft. As soon as, within the night time, Merrell caught glimpses of a near-full moon and realized that they had entered the hurricane’s eye.

Years earlier, Merrell, a bodily oceanographer at Texas A&M College at Galveston, had toured the big Jap Scheldt storm surge barrier, an almost 6-mile-long bulwark that stops North Sea storms from flooding the southern Dutch coast. As Ike roared outdoors, Merrell stored fascinated with the barrier. “The following morning, I began sketching what I believed would look affordable right here,” he mentioned, “and it turned out to be fairly near what the Dutch would have finished.”

These sketches had been the start of the Ike Dike, a proposal for a coastal barrier supposed to guard Galveston Bay. The core concept: combining large gates throughout the principle inlet into the Bay from the Gulf of Mexico, often called Bolivar Roads, with many miles of excessive seawalls.

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