Can the “masters of the flood” help Texas protect its coast from hurricanes?
News

Can the “masters of the flood” help Texas protect its coast from hurricanes?

KIAH COLLIER |
July 15, 2019

After centuries of fighting back water in a low-lying nation, the Dutch have become the world leaders in flood control. And their expertise is helping Texas design what would become the nation’s most ambitious — and expensive — coastal barrier.


NOORDWIJK, Netherlands — On a sunny Friday in late May, a jubilant wedding party scrambled to the top of a colossal sand dune in this tiny Dutch beach town for a photoshoot, bridesmaids’ arms flailing as their high heels sunk in. The wedding ceremony had just ended at an outdoor venue nestled behind the six-story mountain of sand, which blocked the view of the North Sea.

At the town’s main strip nearby, a mostly older crowd sipped beers and wine and nibbled on ice cream cones. No one seemed to mind that they couldn’t see the water.

Unlike in the United States, such obscured ocean views are common in the Netherlands, where people aren’t allowed to build homes or businesses directly on the coast — and for good reason. Three of Europe’s major rivers run through the compact country on their way to the ocean, and almost one-third of it lies below sea level, making it extremely vulnerable to deadly storm tides.

The dunes in Noordwijk are part of a world-renowned storm defense system that covers the entirety of the Netherlands’ coastline — much of it hefty enough to protect against a monster, 10,000-year storm. The system has become a beacon for Texas as it looks to guard the eastern flank of the low-lying Houston-Galveston region — home to millions of people and the nation’s largest petrochemical complex — from hurricanes. Despite its vulnerability to deadly storm surges, the upper Texas coast has no comprehensive storm protection system.

Credit by - The Texas tribune

Read More


If you like the story and if you wish more such stories, support our effort Make a donation.




Loading...

If you believe investigative journalism is essential to making democracy functional and accountable support us. »