The real life cost of trying to ignore nature

Down along the Texas Gulf Coast this week, man's arrogance has been hard hit by Ike. Even the Texas land commissioner is now muttering about things like zoning and building restrictions.

Down along the Texas Gulf Coast this week, man's arrogance has been hard hit by Ike. Even the Texas land commissioner is now muttering about things like zoning and building restrictions. I hope that guy has secret service level protection. Them's fightin' words down in the Lone Star State.

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Meanwhile the cost of Ike mounts like war debt or housing foreclosures. Many billions.

Seems the state land commissioner wants to move people back from the coast a ways. The state legislature has supported him. They see the cost of rebuilidng roads and rescuing the hard-headed who refuse to evacuate. Some Texas towns may not be rebuilt, some beaches are gone for now and not likely to return in our lifetimes. And the Gulf of Mexico seems to be eating away at the coastline.

Opponents of the building restrictions say the state is taking away their land. The land guy says it's the Gulf that's taking the land.

Research in the Mississippi Delta after Katrina found the subsidence there is mostly in the upper layers. Any reconstruction then needs to based on the firmer sediments well below the upper sediment which is still less compacted. Similar studies might help the Texas coastal clingers decide what to do about rebuilding and where to do it. And clearly there's the human desire to have storm resistant construction right on the beach, if that's possible, or perhaps floating housing anchored deep in the substrata? After all, for every hurricane there are months and months of beautiful days with calm surf.

One thing the Texas storm victims can bet on, the recovery and rebuilding will be gradual and fraught with delay and compromise. Here's summary of where New Orleans stands, three years later. Of course, it is traditional that there's very little thought to NOT rebuilding a town or city in storm's way...until, perhaps now, along the Texas Gulf Coast.

One bright note: no new hurricanes brewing at this time.

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