Reducing risk to lives and property due to coastal storms
The upper Texas coast has seen several major coastal storm surge events in recent years; notably Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. These, as well as other storm events, produced storm surges that inundated coastal areas causing impacts to human lives and economic damages to residents, industry and infrastructure, and waterways. The Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Program is being implemented to reduce the risk of storm surge impacts in Orange, Jefferson, and Brazoria Counties, Texas. CSRM is the planning and implementation of features along the coast that are designed to reduce the risk of damage created by storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms. CSRM measures look different depending on the location and need, but are all constructed to reduce the risk of damages from coastal storms, minimize impacts to floodplains, and avoid environmentally significant areas.
The Program is comprised of three projects, one which entails the construction of a new CSRM levee system in southern Orange County, and two which consist of improvements to existing Hurricane Flood Protection projects (HFPP) at Port Arthur and Freeport.
The Corps, in cooperation with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), completed a feasibility study to identify opportunities to minimize the impacts from coastal storm surge events in the Sabine Region (Orange and Jefferson Counties) and Brazoria Region (the Freeport metropolitan area in southern Brazoria County). The study and Environmental Impact Statement were completed in May 2017 and in December of 2017 the Chief’s Report was signed, transmitting the recommendations to Congress. In 2018, Congress authorized the Corps to take action on this study by making improvements to existing levees and floodwalls and constructing new levees, floodwalls, gates, and pump stations in three distinct project locations: Freeport and vicinity, Port Arthur and vicinity, and Orange County.
The Orange County and Freeport and Vicinity project of the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay CSRM Program are currently in the Pre-Construction Engineering and Design, or PED, phase, while the Port Arthur and Vicinity project is in the PED and construction phases. The individual projects have been authorized and funded by Congress for PED, construction, and environmental mitigation under emergency supplemental appropriations—the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the Long-Term Disaster Recovery Investment Plan.
The individual projects:
The Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay CSRM Program recommendation includes:
· The Freeport and Vicinity CSRM Project: Increasing the level of performance and resiliency of the existing Freeport and Vicinity HFPP project in Brazoria County.
· The Port Arthur and Vicinity CSRM Project: Increasing the level of performance and resiliency of the existing Port Arthur and Vicinity HFPP project in Jefferson County.
· The Orange County CSRM Project: The construction of a new levee/floodwall system along the edge of the Sabine and Neches River floodplains from Orange to the vicinity of Orangefield that is approximately 26.7-miles.