(19) comments Back to story

Bill Sargent

I think the Corps is making a mistake on not putting a flood gate at San Luis Pass. TAMG’s modeling says this will be a backdoor to bay flooding. The Corps has admitted it could add as much as one to two feet to water levels in the bay. I’ve done a webpage on this issue for those who are interested... follow the link at the top of http://www.sarges.com

Bill Sargent

One additional clarification... the $31 billion that is so often quoted is for the entire Texas Coast from Brownsville to the LA border. The cost for the Houston/Galveston portion is around $10-12 billion... So don’t let the $31 billion figure scare you!

Bill Cochrane

Oh, ONLY $10-12 Billion, with a little ole b.

LOL

Bailey Jones

“The surge that would come through the pass would not impact the more developed parts of the city.” - Who's to say where development will be 20 or 50 years from now? It would be a shame if this mitigation was obsolete by the time it gets completed.

Paul Sivon

With the sand bar deposition and migration dynamics at San Luis, good luck with a gate being operational when needed. Provide an assurance that these gates will perform when needed and not negatively impact the bay system.

Bill Cochrane

I have a few questions for the “Experts” that are considering the Ike Dike, and Ring Barriers.

Have you taken in consideration:

The existing seawall was built at 17’. Now, the average height appears to be about only 12’ because of beach replenishment and some beach areas that are nearly level with the top of the seawall.

The folks that built the seawall did it in segments as the city grew west. Why was it abandoned? Shouldn’t the seawall be continued all the way to the end of the Island?

Hurricane Ike’s eye passed over the Island and Bolivar resulting in northeast winds at first, then southwest winds after passing. The current plans seem to take this in consideration, but what if the next major hurricane comes ashore at San Luis pass and past Freeport with winds from the southwest?

What if the next major hurricane stops over Galveston for a week, making it a rain event?

Patricia C Newsom

The Seawall has lost height due to subsidence - weight and displacement of ground water.

Bill Cochrane

Patricia, I doubt your theory is correct. You are saying the whole length of the seawall subsided exactly the same amount?

Patricia C Newsom

Please re-read.

Bill Cochrane

If you think that the places along the seawall where the beach comes up close enough to the top of the seawall that people can step off of the seawall to the beach is subsidence? And even if it was subsidence do you really think the subsidence would not cause high and low places along the miles and miles of the seawall? Miles and miles of seawall just sank the same amount all together? That’s funny.

Jeff Patterson

Folks really need to understand that putting a gate at San Luis Pass does NOT eliminate the need for a ring barrier. The height of the ring barrier will be 14 feet above sea level (compared to the 17 foot height of the Sea Wall), which takes into account any surge “leakage” thru San Luis Pass, which is not significant compared to what will come thru Bolivar Roads. A gate at San Luis Pass also has significant environmental implications, so the Corps has rightfully chosen not to include it. Without a gate at Bolivar Roads, the ring barrier would need to be 18 feet about sea level. The focus of Galvestonians now really needs to be on working together with the Corps to find and agree on the best routing for the ring barrier; folks don’t have to “like” the ring barrier, but that doesn’t change the math that it is needed. And all the while the clock continues to tick on the next major storm.

Randy Chapman

This should be as effective as screen doors on a submarine. Don't block the pass and might just as well forget the whole thing.

Jeff Patterson

I assume when you say “block the pass” you mean San Luis Pass....what do you base your comment on?

Miceal O'Laochdha

Mr. Patterson: Perhaps Mr. Chapman is basing his comment on movement of Katrina storm surge up the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (the MR GO) and along the Intercostal Waterway at Chalmette. This was a significant contributor to the inundating of St. Bernard Parish, the Lower 9th, and East New Orleans (together with overtopped levees at the east end of St. Bernard, and barge-damaged seawall at the Industrial Canal). That is why the USACE blocked off the MR GO after the storm.

Jeff Patterson

I would like to hear from Mr Chapman, but regarding your comments, what happened to New Orleans during Katrina is a very interesting study. It is not, however, the situation we face here in Galveston. The flow through San Luis Pass is less than 10% of the flow through Bolivar Roads, and the Corps’ modeling shows that even with gates at San Luis Pass, the impact on the storm surge in Galveston Bay is negligible, but the environmental impact is significant. The Corps has run over 600 storm models so far, and is planning to run another 150 by the time the study is complete. They are basing their decisions on data, which is what we all need to be focusing on now. Opinions and likes/dislikes are really not relevant at this point, unless they are supported by the data.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Mr. Patterson, thank you for continuing to pursue this discussion. There are two points in your remarks my regarding a comparison of the MR GO and San Luis Pass that spark attention: (1) If San Luis Pass flow is indeed 10% of Bolivar Roads (which seems plausible enough), then what percentage of the Mississippi River flow was represented by tide and current in the MR GO prior to Katrina, such that it renders this comparison invalid? (2) Sole reliance on USACE research to develop opinions (on just about anything) is a shaky platform. After all, it was the USACE who researched, designed, and built the MR GO in the first place. BEFORE their research told them they needed to design and build a closure for the channel they built because it left the eastern and down river areas of greater New Orleans more exposed to storm surge.

Jeff Patterson

That is a good question. I know about the MR GO waterway and the issues around it a high level, but not at a level that I can answer your question. I do know that it was a significant channel designed for oceangoing vessels, unlike San Luis Pass, but I will have to do some additional research. I will also address the question to the Corps as I think it is something they need to be able to explain as part of their design for the coastal barrier.

John E Sr. Macrini

Challenging Murphy's Law with the backing of Tax coffers.

Jeff Patterson

So your proposed solution is to.....?

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