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A new report from the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas takes an in-depth look at the impacts of Hurricane Harvey as well as response and recovery efforts.
The report describes the $125 billion of damage left by Harvey, along with the tens of thousands of people who were displaced and the loss of over 12,000 structures. Proposed strategies include the elevation of homes, a buyout program to move residents located in high-risk flood zones, and protection of wetlands.
The report also recommends construction of an $8 billion barrier against storm surge. "To be composed of a 57-mile-long land barrier and two 22-foot-high movable gates, it would be built to protect residential and industrial areas in Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel," says Anna Kuchment.
Critics, however, say the report does not do enough to address the role of climate change. "While the report, 'Eye of the Storm,' takes into account findings from climate scientists, including that sea levels are rising and storms are becoming more frequent and severe, nowhere does it explicitly mention climate change or its main underlying cause, the burning of fossil fuels," reports Kuchment.