Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux plans to introduce a commissioners’ court resolution whereby the county would join a newly-formed corporation that will work to fund a hurricane protection system.

The proposed system would run from Brazoria County to the Sabine River, Thibodeaux said this week. With the proposed addition of Orange County, the corporation would include the counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Jefferson and Harris.
Resolutions are subject to approval by commissioners.

The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District was formed by the  Governor’s Commission for Disaster Recovery and Renewal, created in 2008. 

Commission chairman is former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels, who recently spoke in commissioners’ court, telling Thibodeaux it had been his pleasure to work with area officials.

Orange Mayor Brown Claybar also serves on the commission along with Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, both of Austin.

“We will just do what all corporations do,” Thibodeaux told The Record. “Solicit funds and try to get funds put together from federal and state government – and hopefully we’ll be teaming up with the Army Corps of Engineers to try to get a study done and get started on protection proposals.”

Eckels, speaking by phone from Houston, said that before the district was formed a study was needed, not just for one particular area but for the entire Texas coast. 

“And there was no entity in the state that specifically does that,” he said.

Eckels said Corps of Engineers staff has underway a survey of the upper Texas coast, and one of the district’s aims will be to coordinate with their standards. 

He added that Houston saw mostly wind damage in inland areas from Hurricane Ike, but the coastal areas looked, “ … very much like Bridge City.”

“In the Seabrook and Channel areas there was at least six to seven feet of water in the houses,” he said.

In a document received by Thibodeaux’s office, the district lists its purpose as for, “ … planning, developing and contracting services and facilities; managing, operating and maintaining storm surge; flood, wind and disaster mitigation projects … evacuation, disaster and emergency response and recovery; public safety, community development and other projects or programs to assist and protect the citizens in each of the sponsoring counties.”