Everybody with any kind of clout about what happens in the greater Houston-Galveston area is in agreement that we need to build an Ike Dike sooner, rather than later. As soon as possible.

According to Dan Seal of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, who spoke to the Community Advisory Committee recently, it’s going to be up to us to convince the U.S. House of Representatives to fund the project.

He said, among many things, that the people in Holland are all wondering why we have not already built it.

He also said the part we need to protect our central section is really not going to cost that much; $5 billion to $8 billion. Fixing the entire Gulf Coast will run $11 billion to $15 billion. Not nearly as much as the feds gave to New Orleans to protect their city, with many fewer people.

One of the most important facts we have to pass on to all the people in the United States is that if all the refineries and petrochemical plants down here on the gulf are covered with several feet of water, airlines won’t have fuel, cars, buses and trucks won’t have fuel and people who manufacture tires, fertilizer and cosmetics won’t have the raw materials to do their jobs.

The whole country would be in a mess if our part of the world were in a mess.

The term Ike Dike was first used by Bill Merrell of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Proponents of the protection plan are also calling it the Coastal Spine. One name or another, it needs to be built and people who live around here need to help get that done.

Asked about other methods of payment for the project, Seal insisted it had to be done with federal funds. That means we have to sell the House of Representatives on funding it. Part of the money is already available through Harvey funds. The rest needs to get appropriated. Sooner, rather than later.

Here’s the link that tells you how to help: https://buildthecoastalspine.rallycongress.net. Put that in your computer and then follow the directions. If you want to watch a film called “UNPREPARED: A Nation at Risk,” you get it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Ez1Xvkjqo. There. That’s enough electronics for the day.

Big gates barring the gulf from the bay will protect the entire Houston and Galveston ports, protect more than 3 million jobs and 6 percent of the nation’s Gross National Product. They will protect more than 500 chemical plants, 20 Fortune 500 companies located in Houston, the Texas Medical Center and the Johnson Space Center.

All of that is extremely important to us, of course.

But most of all, it will protect our homes, our schools, our churches and the future of all our children.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at cgillentine1@sbcglobal.net.

(13) comments

Brian Tamney

Imagine how much worse Harvey would of been had this one dike been place. Seems foolish to spend billions to stop storm surge flooding, but increase rain flooding. It's part of livingonthe coast and no two storms are the same and must look at all possibilities when planning.

Susan Fennewald

We shouldn't be asking for an Ike Dike - we should be asking for some flood protection. The Ike dike is NOT the best solution. There are other approaches that are cheaper and more effective. So - don't ask for an Ike Dike - ask for flood protection.

Steve Fouga

I agree with Jarvis [thumbup]

Jarvis Buckley

I agree with Susan👍

Jose' Boix

Please details alternatives and process to get it done soon. I do not see any "energy" or "plans" or or "leadership" forging ahead for an alternative. So far the only seemingly firm proposal is the Coastal Spine. I guess we can wait till after the next Carla, Alicia, Ike or Harvey to test how it affected us.

Jarvis Buckley

Ms. Cathy , I love your articles. You are a real
quality person. Keep writing your great down life's
pathway articles & stay out of politics please. We are over run with those type articles. I read you for a breath of fresh air. Just my thoughts....

Paul Hyatt

This article makes me laugh.... Does the author even understand what would have happened if the stupid Ike Dike would have been in place during Harvey? Instead of a bad flood in our area it would have been extremely bad as there would have been no place for the water to drain anywhere. What is needed in this area is better drainage and more retention ponds to be build. In La Marque on FM 2004 there is a ton of new houses being built and all they have done is dig a ditch that runs to the bayou. So instead of the water sitting on this ground when we have very heavy rains it now drains into the bayou that has NEVER been cleaned or dredged. We also have the diversionary canal in Hitchcock that the Corp of Engineers and our drainage district continues to allow more and more water to be put to it and it has never been cleaned or dredged since it was built, and with all of the tidal action and heavy rains it is not nearly as deep as it used to be. Now people want to build a stupid dike that will do nothing but hold water on top of us. How dumb can we be?

Paul Hyatt

One other thing I would love people to answer that love the thought of building the silly Ike Dike.... Who is going to pay for this? Our Federal Government is bankrupt thanks to our leaders in Washington D.C. for spending far more than we have giving all of the money away. The state of Texas is not going to pay for it as most of the state will not benefit from it. The county can not afford to pay for it so again who is going to pay for this. Most people live from paycheck to paycheck and can not afford to have their taxes raised. Sometimes I do wonder if people think before they speak!

Ray Taft

Everybody with clout does not agree that the Ike Dike needs to be built sooner and not later (see ‘Meeting set to talk about Ike Dike alternatives,’ Daily News Mar 25.)

Harvey’s flooding was not caused by a storm surge, which is what the Ike Dike is designed to prevent. I wonder how could have the Ike Dike prevented any flooding from Harvey’s torrential rain?

A dike is a barrier to stop flood waters from getting through it. It would stop flooding whether it is from the gulf or the other way around. Would a dike have exasperated the flooding by slowing the rainstorm drain off into the gulf?

Harvey reveals the need to rethink the Ike Dike. Everyone should pause to reconsider flood control options and not rush into building the massively expensive Ike Dike.

Jim Forsythe

The flooding from Harvey was not a surprise, as days before we knew that flooding would occur in are area.
When we first knew about the flooding that we were going to get , the gates would have been closed at low tide.
My guess, we are going to have a pump system.
At that time , pumps would have been turned on.
This is what New Orleans has, we may have more pumps.
"A 5,000-horsepower diesel engine spins the pump's four-blade propeller 150 times a minute. Together the 13 pumps move 150,000 gallons of water per second, the equivalent of about 15 Olympic-size pools every minute."
By turning on the pumps early, room for runoff is made.

Paul Hyatt

And who is going to pay for this monster that might work for 30 billion or os? The rest of the State of Texas will not want to be burdened by something that does not benefit them. Our Federal Government is technically and actually bankrupt and they have other priority's other than the Ike Dike.... Our county does not have that kind of money and I for sure do not want to pay the taxes it will take to build that monster. Then when you add to the fact that the progressive earth saving people will be out in arms about this thing they will add BILLIONS to the cost of it. It would not have helped us one bit during Harvey. What would have helped us is that the Corp of Engineers would stop allowing La Marque to continue to build neighborhoods that drain straight to our bayous with out them being cleaned. The same goes for many bayous in this county no one is thinking about all of the water that they are pouring into these bayous as we continue to take land out from our flood plains. As for New Orleans look at what happened to them during Katrina. Because of corruption and mismanagement the pumps did not work and the levees failed. Please do not think that the same scenario can not or will not happen to this insane proposal....

Jose' Boix

Mr. Taft, while I agree to "rethink" to come up with the best solution, it has been 9 years since Ike. In addition, it is not that we are "newbies" at such storm events; since the 60s, Carla, Claudette, Allen, Danielle, Alicia, Allison just to name a few.

Jim Forsythe

Add this to the mix. At a cost of over 100 Million per mile.
Also draining Houston fast, will increase the amount of water in the ship channel at one time. This could increase our flooding.

"The answer to Houston’s flooding woes may lie far below its notorious sprawl, officials believe. The Harris County Flood Control District “is exploring the possibility” of building several enormous, underground tunnels to whisk flood waters away from the region’s bayous and into the Houston Ship Channel, the Houston Chronicle reports. "

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.