Momentum - Business to Business Online Magazine MOMENTUM Summer 2018 - Page 6

Steve Paterson President & CEO League City Regional Chamber Drainage, Preparation & Recovery As we enter 2018 Hurricane Season, we take a renewed look at our present, past and possible future. August 28th will always be etched into our memories as we received 50 plus inches of rainfall from Harvey, which caused irreparable damage to our City and County. We are now nine months out from that event and we are still digging out and repairing homes and businesses. There is still damage from Hurricane Ike ten years ago, which has not been mitigated, either locally or from the State or Federal coffers. Still it could have been worse. Your chamber of commerce along with sponsorship from Texas New Mexico Power held a “Hurricane Preparedness Workshop for Businesses”. The one takeaway for me was very interesting. Chief Meteorologist Jeffry Evans with the National Weather Service (NWS) of Houston / Galveston stated in the workshop that most of deaths are a result of flooding and not wind. Water kills. Tidal surge and rainstorms that deluge are the major threats that we need to be wary. These are the ones we can mitigate to a certain extent, through drainage infrastructure planning, regular dredging of lakes, bayous and creeks and the construction of levees and gates to control water flow. After the great storm of 1900, the residents of Galveston Island built the seawall that we see today, which functions as a coastal barrier. It has done its job over the past century. It is time that the citizens of Galveston County truly look at a long-range plan for drainage. We need to explore the formation of a drainage district, which encompasses our total bay area and the barrier islands that make up Galveston County. Because our estuaries play a vital role not only in drainage but also tidal surge, we need to also investigate the formation of a navigation district. The proposed Coastal Spine project being advocated for by this chamber of commerce and other entities, which has been proposed by the Speed Center at Rice University and Texas A & M Galveston are not only projects of local importance, but also of national security. A major tidal storm surge would be many more times devastating than a Category 3,4, or 5 wind storm events. This could be caused by a tropical depression or much weaker Category storm. We dodged a bullet when Hurricane Ike came through by only 30 miles. If the tidal surge that the storm created had come up the Houston ship channel, the damage it would have caused can only be defined as catastrophic. Remember Hurricane Ike was a Category 2 storm. It is way past time to not act and start the process to protect industry, businesses, homes and most importantly lives. It is not if there will be another storm, but when. Our local politicians and leaders need to advocate and put forward a unified drainage and surge protection plan using the best technology we have to day to prevent the most amount of damage we can. Not wait on state or federal government funding to start. Just like the folks in Galveston did after the 1900 storm. They all pitched in and made it happen. It is a matter of common sense that anything worth having is going to cost something. If we love this area and want to keep our homes, it will be worth the investment. Steve Paterson 2018 Board of Directors Chair, Rebecca Lilley Memorial Hermann Treasurer, Bix Rathburn RPC Consulting Secretary, Gloria Greene EliteCare 24 Hour ER Past Chair, Ray Soto Soto Financial & Insurance 2019 Incoming Chair, Bill Provenzano Hometown Bank of League City Elga Boeker Houston Methodist St. John Hospital James Brockway Brockway Realty / Commercial Dr. Laura Dupont CCISD Matthew Mathias Clear Lake Regional Medical Center Dr. Warren Nichols College of the Mainland Kalpesh Patel Hampton Inn & Suites/Candlewood Suites Chris Premont Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai Genesis Dan Seal BAHEP Debbie Simmons Anchor Point Becky Trout-Unbehagen UTMB Health Rolando Villareal Hilltop Securities Peter Wuenschel CIS - Bay Area John Baumgartner Ex-Officio, City of League City Amanda Fenwick Ex-Officio, City of Clear Lake Shores Lisa Howard Ex-Officio, HOT Tax Board Peggy Zahler Ex-Officio, HOA Alliance of League City