Lourdes Beltran, Heather Luna

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G. Salas:  South Texas has been very lucky not to experience a major natural disaster like the one Galveston experienced in 1900.  It seems that when the hurricanes get close to South Texas it tends to slow down or change a different direction.  If a hurricane by-passes South Texas we tend to get lots of rain and lots of strong winds with tornado warnings.

H. Luna: Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island, whereas, Brownsville is a city located in the southernmost tip of Texas (approx. 40 miles from the coast). Based on the proximity of Galveston to the coast, storm surge are more likely. In addition, hurricane winds will be stronger, since hurricanes lose strength once they begin moving over land. However, both Galveston and Brownsville have the potential to incur flooding and tornadoes. So, although we may not experience a natural disaster exactly like the residents of Galveston, we could still potentially suffer a traumatic natural disaster.  http://www.gema.ga.gov/gemaohsv10.nsf/f5f7c40f402ce35f852577270052218d/1e49e61e4cd730a3852577350071bcea?OpenDocument

C. Martinez: A major factor that distinguishes us separate from Galveston, Texas is that we are not right on the coast but are several miles inland and we have been very fortunate not to have a direct impact from a hurricane. I can not say the same about a nearby city, Harlingen, that has been impacted directed.

L. Beltran: One of the major factors that separates us from experiencing a natural disaster is that today we have better technology that helps alert people on evacuating before an actual hurricane hits land.  People also have a better understanding of engineering by raising the level of the ground, building levee systems and building seawalls.

4. M. Martinez: Seawalls are known to be costly and require maintenance. If a seawall would have been approved to be built during the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, would it have made a difference on the number of death and repair cost?

G. Salas:  The seawall would have made a difference in the number of deaths and destruction. Once the seawall in Galveston was built, the city went through numerous other hurricanes and the seawall help protect the city from major damage and deaths.

H. Luna:  Following the hurricane on September 8, 1900, Galveston spent 8 years and more than $14,000,000 building a 7 mile, 17 feet high seawall. Although this was a daunting project that took lots of time and money, it proved to be successful when the hurricane of 1915 hit Galveston, leaving a city safe and only eight people dead. http://www.galveston.com/seawallphotos/

C. Martinez: Yes it did make a significant difference when another hurricane hit the region in 1915. Only a few people died and the city remained intact. Although it may have cost the city $14 million dollars, the seawall did do its job by protecting the city and it nearby towns from total destruction.

L. Beltran:  A seawall is a structure that was intended to protect the shoreline from flooding and erosions.  I believe that a seawall would have helped with the destruction of the hurricane.  Although if the hurricane has high waves, it could still breach most seawalls.  During a hurricane, there’s powerful wave actions beating on the seawalls and overtime it will be required for repair or replacement.  The total cost for building the Galveston seawall was $1.6 million.

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