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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Former Galveston president proposes storm protection plan

A movable barrier concept in Galveston dubbed the “Ike Dike” will be proposed to the state.
This could protect the Galveston-Bolívar peninsula from the ravages of future hurricanes. William Merrel, Texas A&M chairman of Marine Sciences and former Galveston A&M president came up with the idea.
“It’s currently in the early stages,” Merrel said.
Merrel’s concepts consist of extending the sea wall towards the west side and along 17 miles into the Bolivar Peninsula. Along Highway 87, the floodgates would keep any surge out of the bay.
The barrier will be guided by the powers of locomotives. Merrel said the idea stemed from the waterways in Holland. “They are some of the most strong and advanced floodgates in the world.”
The floodgates are more than 11 stories tall. “To give you a idea, the floodgates are around the size of the Eiffel Tower,” Merrel said.
Merrel has gained the attention of the senators, judges and mayors. The seawall extension, barrier and the concept cost a projected $5 billion.
The proposal would prevent flooding and surging for future hurricanes. “This is only to help resist water, not wind or any other forces,” he said.
However, Merrel said his design would dramatically increase the protection of the bay.
“The Ike Dike will also protect lives during difficult evacuations,” Merrel said.
Merrell has been at A&M Galveston since 1987 intermittently. He was a presidential appointee by the Reagan administration and has worked closely with the Department of Marine Biology at A&M Galveston.

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