GALVESTON, Texas -

Hurricane Ike came ashore pushing a 17-foot storm surge five years ago.

It flooded almost every building on Galveston Island, displaced more than 50,000 residents and caused billions in damage.

Since then, Galveston has recovered with more property on the tax rolls and there are more jobs available than before the storm. Shipping, the medical school and the tourists are back.

But what if it happened again? There's nothing to stop a huge storm surge from inundating the island in the future.

Galveston's former mayor of the city said Sea Wall saved the city from total devastation. She and others back a plan to essentially extend the Sea Wall around Galveston Bay.

Designed by Texas A&M professor Bill Merrill, it's called the "Ike Dike." It is a 60-mile long berm running from the Bolivar Peninsula through Galveston, with a sea gate at the entrance to Galveston Bay that could be closed when a storm approaches.

Galveston's current mayor is a fan, too.

"We're estimating costs of around $6 billion. Seems pretty reasonable when you have $50 billion worth of damage from one event," said Mayor Louis Rosen.

But much of the money needed to build it would have come from the federal government and there is opposition from critics who claim it could actually increase flooding.