sample comment letters

Letter to the USACE

With the Tentatively Selected Plan’s proposed placement of the coastal barrier along HWY 87 on the Bolivar Peninsula and along FM 3005 in west Galveston, I have some significant concerns and questions since thousands of homes and businesses would then end-up being trapped on the gulf side of the proposed levee:

1)  Induced flooding--- The Corps has indicated a possible 2-4 foot increase in flood levels for homes seaward of the barrier if a storm surge were to pile water up against the new levee. Most of the newer homes that were built on the Bolivar Peninsula after Hurricane Ike were built at 4 feet above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) level that FEMA uses to calculate flood premiums in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Per the NFIP rating guidelines, if the BFE were to be increased by 4 feet because of this “induced flooding” risk, then the premium for a typical home that would be located on the gulf side of the levee would increase from $4191 annually up to $7901 annually. That is nearly a $4k increase in annual premium. What does the Corp plan to do to address this huge potential increase in annual flood premiums that homeowners may face if the levee were to be built?

2)  Highway Access after a storm--- If a large storm surge were to destroy the thousands of homes on the gulf side of the proposed levee, then massive amount of debris would pile-up against the levee and would cover these two roadways (which are the only access roads to these areas). How long would it take to remove this inordinate amount of debris (that would collect up against the levee and cover the highway) in order for first responders to be able to access these devastated areas?

3)  Petro-Chemical facility risk--- It is my understanding that one of the primary goals of the coastal barrier project is to protect the refineries that are located up along the Port of Houston and along Upper Galveston Bay from potential storm surge. Hurricane Ike already brought a very large surge into those areas back in 2008. How many of those facilities actually experienced flooding in Ike? And to protect them further, why can’t more (or higher) levees simply be built directly around those exposed facilities (that already survived a significant surge in Hurricane Ike)?

Letter to the USACE

Subject:US Army Corps of Engineers coastal barrier study

My name is  ________.   I am ____ years old and I’ve been a property owner on the Bolivar Peninsula for _____ years. I am retired and enjoy the beach. I live a block off the Gulf of Mexico in the ___________ subdivison.  

I have reviewed the Corp’s coastal barrier study and I have several problems with the proposed gate system.  I don’t oppose the entire study, however,because I do like the the idea of replenishing the beaches and building up the dunes so that they will better withstand any serious storm surge.

I do oppose however the erection of 27 miles of gates that would be as tall is 17-20 feet and will have a base of from 200 to 500 feet along the northern part of State Highway 87 on the Bolivar peninsula.

If your barrier is built I think that my home’s value
would decline rapidly as nobody would want to live on a beach that has such a barrier. And my home’s value is about a third of my existing  total assets.

After hurricane IKE my house was the only house within seven blocks that was still standing after the storm .I rebuilt my house to the current Texas standards for construction in this area.

I doubt if my house could withstand a storm surge that goes under my house then meets a 20 foot wall and is hurled back to my home and the Gulf with even a greater force.

I urge you to revise you study
any find a better solution to protecting the Gulf coast,our homes and chemical plants.

Thank you for consideration of my concerns.

Letter to the USACE

I am concerned about the disruption the proposed barrier will have on natural coastal processes and subsequently the resilience of coastal habitat and adaptability of wildlife.

Letter to the USACE

Dear Ms Morgan:

I am a homeowner on the Bolivar Peninsula who is extremely concerned with the proposed USACE Coastal Barrier Plan, also known as the Ike Dike or Coastal Spine Plan. The Ike Dike Coastal Spine Plan is a Plan that only addresses storm surge as the primary concern during any tropical storm or hurricane. The proposed plan does not address catastrophic rain fall totals as experienced during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain as the system slowly meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing unprecedented flooding. With peak accumulations of 60.58 in (1,539 mm), in Nederland, Texas, Harvey is the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the United States.

The existing levees held in place and did the function they were designed to do. However, there is nothing in place to enhance drainage and move the rain water and upstream runoff and disperse quickly. Building a dam around the Houston/Galveston Bay will not improve on this natural process of drainage and will only serve to delay drainage and make the flooding worse.

The plan proposed by USACE does not protect or address the following:

1) Bay surge waters generated by a storm in the bay as it moves inland.
2) Rain water run-off into the bay from the mainland. Ten feet of fresh water resided on top of the brackish water in the bay after Harvey.
3) Large hurricane storm surges greater than the proposed barrier height of 17 feet will occur greater than 60% of the time.
4) Beach erosion caused by the implementation of man-made dunes and structures.
5) Drainage issues on Galveston Island/Lack of storm drains and systems for all communities.

The proposed plan does not meet construction cost benefit analysis as follows:

1) Engineers requested 23 foot wall at 35 Billion. Storm surge of 17 feet will only help 40% of the time with a large storm.
2) Annual maintenance costs of $140 Million to be paid by local home owners.
3) Homeowners already bear the burden of Homeowners Flood Insurance and Wind and Hail Insurance.

The proposed plan would have the following destructive impact to the economy:

1) Local tourism would be destroyed.
2) Many properties would be reduced to having a “Coastal Spine View.”
3) Fishing Industry would be decimated.
4) Property values would be diminished.
5) Hotel property tax revenues would be slashed.
6) Wildlife would be displaced or eradicated.

There is a cost effective plan that addresses storm surge in the Galveston Bay. Please review and consider the Rice University-led Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from disasters (SSPEED) Center’s ongoing study of hurricane surge reduction in the Houston-Galveston Bay region.