Texas A&M looks at benefits from possible coastal barrier

Addicks Reservoir
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, file photo, water from Addicks Reservoir flows into neighborhoods as floodwaters from Harvey rise in Houston. Allstate expects $593 million in insurance losses for August due to Hurricane Harvey. That marks a spike from $181 million in July. The estimates do not include Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in September. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — A new study suggests if the Houston area continues to boom for 60 years and sea levels rise a direct hit to Galveston from a massive hurricane could destroy $31.8 billion worth of homes.

The Houston Chronicle reports Texas A&M researchers looked at possibly building a coastal barrier about 60 miles (96 kilometers) long from Galveston to Bolivar (BAH’-lee-ver) Peninsula. Experts say potential residential destruction from a storm surge would drop to $6 billion.

The idea for a coastal barrier has been floated since Hurricane Ike hit the Galveston area in 2008.

Houston and state officials, after Hurricane Harvey struck in August, asked the federal government for $12 billion for a coastal barrier.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn says storm relief likely will be part of talks on a 2018 spending bill.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com