Officials offer plan to protect Texas from hurricanes

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HOUSTON (AP) — State and federal officials are recommending a plan to protect the Texas coast from hurricanes — particularly the Houston area — with a barrier system made up of floodwalls, floodgates and seawall improvements.

The proposal, which could cost up to $31 billion, focuses on preventing storm surge from entering Galveston Bay, which leads into the Houston Ship Channel, home to the country’s largest petrochemical complex.

The proposal, part of a draft report , could take more than 20 years to complete if approved by Congress.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said the proposal is about “protecting our people, our economy and our national security.”

The plan incorporates ideas previously developed in the wake of 2008’s Hurricane Ike, which caused nearly $30 billion in damage with its powerful storm surge.