Dike could reopen soon

Workers cleanup oil on the Texas City Dike in the aftermath of the Galveston Bay Oil Spill on Wednesday.

TEXAS CITY — Closed since a barge carrying heavy fuel oil and a cargo ship collided, the Texas City Dike may soon reopen. At least partially.

The city also is considering reopening access to the Texas City Hurricane Levee, as well as a portion of the Texas City Dike, as early as today, Homeland Security Director Bruce Clawson said.

The plan, which would open up two-thirds of the dike, and restrict people from where crews are still staged for oil cleanup, requires the approval of Mayor Matt Doyle. He was expected to give the plan a green light.

Clawson warned that anyone venturing onto the dike once it does reopen, should be cautious. There is a lot of heavy equipment and extra vehicular traffic as crews wrap up the Galveston Bay cleanup.

While Dike Beach and the ever-popular Samson-Yarbrough Boat Ramp will be off limits, there are other ways for boaters to launch their boats.

“There are two or three good boat ramps on the dike,” Clawson said. 

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Samson-Yarbrough ramp is the busiest boat ramp on the Upper Texas Coast.

Clawson said that Dike Beach has been cleaned and “it looks great,” but given its proximity to the cleanup staging area, the city wants to wait. Changes in weather still had him concerned that oil could come up on the beach, which is located on the dike’s north side.

As predicted, cleanup crews were busy picking up oil that washed shored Wednesday afternoon on the beach area.

While there are no warnings about eating fish caught in the area, county health officials did warn people to use good judgment in eating what they catch.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.


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