$31B project aimed at protecting coastal regions like Galveston against storm surges, up for Biden’s approval

GALVESTON, Texas – We’ve seen the damage that catastrophic storms like Hurricane Ike can do to coastal areas like Galveston, now a major protection project that’s been talked about for years is closer to coming to fruition.

Now, business owners whose livelihoods hinge on tourism are flooded with feelings of anticipation.

”This building was highly impacted by Ike,” said Craig Corbell who owns several businesses on the island that include facilitating dolphin tours and running the Haunted Mayfield Manor.

He says even his haunted house isn’t as scary as the thought of another hurricane like Ike coming through and destroying it all.

”The sea wall is higher, the island slopes back down this way, so what happens is it (storm surge) wraps around the island and floods us from behind,” Corbell said.

The history of storm damage on Galveston Island runs deep.

In September 1900, the island was destroyed, and the building known as the Haunted Mayfield Manor was used as a temporary morgue. Some say today it’s still haunted.

Well, not really, but to protect coastal businesses like the year-round haunted house and countless homes in the area senator Ted Cruz joined other local leaders to speak about the Coastal Spine project that would create storm barriers like flood gates and sand dunes in the most vulnerable areas, offering much-needed protection against damaging weather.

“We’re on the finish line of getting the authorization for this project through, it is passed now both the Senate and the House, and hopefully in the next month or two it will be on the president’s desk, so we are very close to the initial stages,” Cruz told KPRC2′s Deven Clarke during a press conference at Galveston City Hall.

”Keeping this area up and running, being able to cater to all these tourists is critical to the economy,” Corbell said.

Right now, the cost of the project is at 31 billion dollars and would be partially funded by the Federal Government and local entities including the Gulf Coast Protection District.

If President Biden signs off on it, we could see the planning and development stages starting over the next several months. The entire project is estimated to take about 20 years to complete.

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