Study Finds ‘Secondary Impacts’ Of Hurricanes Could Significantly Damage Texas’ Economy

May 29, 2019

Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Texas General Land Office found that unmitigated flooding or storm surges could cost the Texas economy about $880 billion, but there are ways to prevent that.

 

A joint study by Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Texas General Land Office found that Texans living along the Gulf of Mexico need and want protection from flooding and hurricanes, especially because that protection could shield them and the state from significant financial loss.

Tony Williams, senior director of planning for the Coastal Resources Division of the land office, says the study looked at so-called secondary impacts of potential floods or hurricanes – in other words, how those events would affect Texas’ economy.

“Like, what would happen if the Houston Ship Channel was shut down for different amounts of days and what affect that would have on the national economy,” Williams says. “And it could be over an 8% impact to the state economy.”

Eight percent amounts to over $880 billion in today’s dollars, and Williams says that loss to Texas’ economy would be “significant.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– What solutions the General Land Office is considering to prevent major financial loss after a weather event

– How Texas will likely use the $1.7 billion the legislature just approved for flood control projects

– How the state would likely pay for a storm-surge barrier in the Gulf, known as a “coastal spine”

 

Written by Caroline Covington.