Multi-billion dollar proposal completed to change landscape of SE Texas coast

A multi-billion-dollar proposal has been finalized to try and lessen the damage caused by future hurricanes along the Southeast Texas coast.

After several years, the Army Corps of Engineers finalized the estimated $29 billion plan. A portion of the project, known as the Ike Dike, has been discussed since Hurricane Ike made landfall over Galveston in 2008.

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"There’s a lot to be done," said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. "We can’t just sit and wait for one of those hurricanes to hit us."

The project uses a combination of gates, dunes, and pumps. The goal is to shield the area from massive hurricane destruction.

"It would very much reduce the vulnerability that our county, and our economy, and our energy infrastructure as a nation has," said Hidalgo. "That’s big."

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On Friday, we met with Greg "Tex" Leggio on Bolivar Peninsula. Leggio lives on Crystal Beach.

"We’ve put our eggs in one basket, because we like to live down here," said Leggio. "If we have to leave [for a hurricane], we’re going to save ourselves."

In 2008, Ike made landfall in Galveston as a category 2 storm and caused roughly $30 billion worth of destruction. The new plan is designed to hopefully lessen that.

"We’ve heard since Hurricane Ike, this is something that might happen," said Leggio. "Typically people down here are concerned about the money part of it."

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The proposal includes large gates that would be able to protect some areas from a 22-foot storm surge. In addition, dunes as tall as 14-feet-are proposed in other spots to prevent flooding and erosion.

"Access to the beach would be big concern," said Leggio. "How are we going to get to the beach from our homes?"

The project proposal is expected to be sent to congress over the next month.