According to a recent report from Reuters, in the six years after Hurricane Ike, little has been done to protect the nineteen coastal cities and towns that surround the Galveston Bay from future hurricane storm damage. However, a professor and the chair of the marine sciences department at Texas A&M has an idea that he got from studying the Dutch form of storm protection: build a 60-mile long, 17-foot tall dike.
Professor William Merrell’s dike would feature massive gates designed to swing shut as the storm approached, blocking the 1.7 mile-wide entrance to the bay, thus protecting the homes and businesses that lie along the coast, including those in Houston. Considering that Hurricane Ike caused nearly $30 billion worth of damage, officials feel it’s an idea worth considering. However, there’s a problem in how to pay for the $6 billion dike.
Currently, the article stated, the U.S. lacks a unified response to the increased threat of rising sea levels that will spell larger disasters in the future. Though there are subsidies for flood insurance, and bail outs for utilities in disaster-struck areas, the national policy pits various parts of the country against each other during their time of need. Reuters found that there is $1.4 trillion worth of property along U.S. coastlines, and yet the funding to protect those properties isn’t there. In Galveston County alone, 70 percent of businesses and 75 percent of jobs are located in hurricane flood zones. Disaster planning is largely a matter of responding after the disaster strikes. The dike proposal is just one of multiple proposals competing for limited grant funding, and political officials have yet to publicly back any of the proposals.
While the state continues to consider proposals, what should you do if disaster does strike? We highly recommend having an experienced public adjuster on your side to ensure that you get the maximum amount owed to you by your insurance company to repair the damage caused by storms. For more information, contact us.