The Ike Dike: A Coastal Barrier Protecting the Houston/Galveston Region from Hurricane Storm Surge

  • William J. MerrellEmail author
  • Lyssa Graham Reynolds
  • Andres Cardenas
  • Joshua R. Gunn
  • Amie J. Hufton
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


On the morning of 13 September 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall near the east end of Galveston, Texas. Ike’s strong Category 2 winds and near Category 5 equivalent storm surge, created sufficient devastation to be ranked as the third costliest hurricane to make landfall in the United States. One factor that somewhat mitigated the damage and loss of life in Galveston and adjacent areas was the presence of an existing Seawall constructed after the 1900 Galveston storm. In this chapter we provide a rationale and conceptual framework for a next-generation coastal protection system necessary to reduce the threats posed by future hurricane surges in the Houston–Galveston urban-industrial region.

Despite the initial lack of public and governmental attention, Hurricane Ike may well come to be viewed as an epic storm. It has already changed how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) will classify hurricanes by giving more credence to surge potential. Moreover, as...


Storm Surge Rapid Intensification Texas Coast Major Hurricane Harris County 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Merrell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lyssa Graham Reynolds
    • 2
  • Andres Cardenas
    • 1
  • Joshua R. Gunn
    • 1
  • Amie J. Hufton
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas A&M University at GalvestonGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Green Light MultimediaGalvestonUSA

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