This article focuses on various engineering projects that are being undertaken to protect Houston and other cities from future storms. With so much activity in Houston, regional planners and government officials wanted to know exactly how much of an upgrade the region’s coastal defenses needed, that required advanced fluid dynamics models and time on state-of-the-art supercomputers. The model utilizes the latitude, longitude, and the elevation of the ground, both above and below the water. The model can simulate normal tides based on the phase of the moon and wind direction, showing how the water flows in and out of the complex geography of the bay, both above the surface and below. Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center now leans toward a multiple barrier system combining the mid-bay and lower-bay gate concepts. The combination plan would provide some protection to the towns along Galveston Bay’s coast, while providing additional protection to the Houston ship channel and its critical infrastructure, as well as to the heavily developed west side of the bay.

You do not currently have access to this content.