Estimating Residential Property Loss Reduction from a Proposed Coastal Barrier System in the Houston-Galveston Region Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers. In the wake of increasing development in coastal metropolitan areas, there are growing concerns about the impact of a potential storm surge event on residential properties. This study examines how a coastal storm surge suppression system could reduce residential flood losses in the Houston-Galveston region. Losses avoided are measured by analyzing the impact of three proxy storm surge scenarios (10 years/10% chance, 100 years/1% chance, and 500 years/0.2% chance) and a hypothetical Hurricane Ike event. An estimation of direct losses using a customized Hazards US Multi-Hazard (Hazus-MH) model shows that residential structures worth between $6 and $16 billion are exposed to potential inundation, with direct losses ranging from $0.5 to $8 billion. The proposed storm surge infrastructure, however, results in about 70 to 95% reduction in residential losses, which is about $0.4 to $7 billion depending on storm intensity. By combining in a novel way various built environment and hydrological data sets, this study provides critical information to decision makers on the effectiveness of storm surge barriers in reducing the adverse impacts of flood events on vulnerable coastal communities.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Atoba, K. O., Brody, S. D., Highfield, W. E., & Merrell, W. J.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Atoba, Kayode O||Brody, Samuel D||Highfield, Wesley E||Merrell, William J

publication date

  • August 2018