The trauma of Ike has receded for most, and calmer minds have been able to prevail and put in place 21st century mechanisms to ensure that Galveston and coastal areas will never be subjected to the battering it took in September 2008. Right? Not exactly.
“Not prepared at all,” is how Dr. William Merrell sums up the situation. Merrell is a marine scientist professor at Texas A & M Galveston. Merrell was at a meeting last week with Texas state legislators trying to get something moving, trying to be proactive; they came up with a committee but not with a plan to manage another Ike.
“If that type of hurricane was to the west we’d probably have two thousand people killed and a hundred billion dollars in damage. We’re just not ready for a big hurricane in this area,” Merrell tells KTRH News.
Judge Mark Henry of Galveston chairs an independent group that was not called to testify.
“However we are looking at a comprehensive regional surge protection system. We have been allocated four million dollars. We just signed the contracts within the last few months and that study will probably take about 18 to 24 months,” says Henry.
There are many competing interest for the billions in federal money required to implement any plan, and the question is will anything get done before the next big one hits?