SocraticGadfly: Keep saying no to an Ike Dike

May 05, 2022

Keep saying no to an Ike Dike

In his usual violation of at least spirit if not the letter of fair use regulations through his massive block-quoting, Kuff blogs about a new piece in the New Orleans Times-Picayune talking about the Ike Dike proposals for Houston. NOLA's lead-in is talking to the Army Corps of Engineers project manager who led the work on Crescent City's storm barrier system several years ago.

Kudos to the TP for saying the system would likely be woefully inadequate, just as the one in New Orleans is.

It has only 1 percent protection against 100-year storms, and that's using a definition of "100 year storm" that is itself getting outdated as we speak. This:

The Ike Dike is essentially a pre-disaster project done at a post-disaster scale.

Is the bottom line on that.

But, given that the Corps routinely underestimates costs for projects like this by massive amounts, a post-disaster project's costs? Maybe $100 billion?

At the same time, contra Jim Blackburn? The barrier islands alternative/complement isn't a solution, either. Those artificial barrier islands will be easily eroded. Who pays to maintain them? And, when the Thwaites Glacier disappears in Antarctica, they'll be underwater most of the time, too. Pre-disaster project.

I talked about all this and more five years ago, with an update four years ago, per links I dropped in Kuff's comments.

1. Environmental destruction would likely be worse than planned.
1A. The Corps is NOT an environment-friendly agency. A&M Galveston probably the same. This is an exercise in engineering wet dreaming for them, above all else.
1B. Given the Corps’ history, its construction cost estimates should be at least doubled if not more than that to be brought into the realm of reality.
2. An Ike Dike would do nothing to protect against surges on the inside side of Galveston Island, which is a lot of Helltown’s problems.
2A. An Ike Dike would certainly do nothing to protect against flooding from inland low pressure systems, definitely a lot of Helltown’s problems.
3. Options? Yes there are options. One of them is moving. If you really think you have to have it, a payment option for wingnuts and neolibs alike to back is a national carbon tax. (And, the pivot away from fossil fuels that would lead to would itself mean we'd have less need for petrochemical plant protection in Houston cuz they'd be doing less.)

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