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Hurricane Ike

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Hurricane Ike
Category 4 hurricane (SSHS)
File:Hurricane Ike off the Lesser Antilles.jpg
Hurricane Ike at peak intensity.
Formed September 1, 2008
Dissipated September 14, 2008
Highest winds 1-minute sustained:
145 mph (230 km/h)
Lowest pressure 935 mbar (hPa); 27.61 inHg
Fatalities 103 direct, 92 indirect
Damage $37.6 billion (2008 USD)
(Third costliest tropical cyclone in U.S. history)
Areas affected Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Florida Keys, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, Great Lakes region, eastern Canada
Part of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Ike (play /ˈk/) was the costliest hurricane ever to impact Cuba, the third-costliest hurricane ever to make landfall in the United States, the costliest hurricane in Texas history, and the last hurricane to make landfall in the United States until Hurricane Irene in 2011. It was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.[1][2] It was a Cape Verde-type hurricane, as it started as a tropical disturbance near Africa at the end of August. On September 1, 2008, it became a tropical storm west of the Cape Verde islands.[3][4] By the early morning hours of September 4, Ike was a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) and a pressure of 935 mbar (27.61 inHg).[5] That made it the most intense Atlantic storm of 2008. Ike passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands as Category 4, with winds 135 mph (215 km/h) on September 7. Moving west along Cuba, it made two landfalls – as a Category 4 hurricane on September 7 and as a Category 1 hurricane two days later. Ike made its final landfall near Galveston, Texas as a strong Category 2 hurricane, on September 13, 2008, at 2:10 am CDT. Hurricane-force winds extended 120 miles (195 km) from the center and tropical storm-force winds extended far beyond that.

Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths. Of these, 74 were in Haiti, which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms earlier that year: Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. In the United States, 112 people were killed, and 23 are still missing.[2] Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County region near Corpus Christi, Texas.[6] In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the Mississippi coastline and the Florida Panhandle[7] Damages from Ike in U.S. coastal and inland areas are estimated at $29.6 billion (2008 USD),[2] with additional damage of $7.3 billion in Cuba (the costliest storm ever in that country), $200 million in the Bahamas, and $500 million in the Turks and Caicos, amounting to a total of at least $37.6 billion in damage. Ike was the thrid costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time, only surpassed by Hurricane Katrina of 2005 and later by Hurricane Sandy of 2012.[8] It became the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history.[9] It also resulted in millions leaving the Houston/Galveston area and other parts of Texas. However, Hurricane Rita still holds the designation as the largest U.S. evacuation in history.[10] At one point, Ike was over 600 miles in diameter.[11]

Meteorological historyEdit

File:Ike 2008 track.png

Hurricane Ike can be traced to a westerly wave leaving western Sudan on August 19, which moved westward through Nigeria and Mali and reached the coastal country of Senegal on August 28.[12] Moving into the Atlantic Ocean, the wave slowly intensified over subsequent days while moving generally toward the west-northwest. On September 1, the wave developed a sufficient amount of convection and was designated Tropical Depression Nine. The depression had developed a large amount of convection as well as cyclonically curved bands. Satellite estimates were already indicating that the depression was a tropical storm; the National Hurricane Center did not classify it as such, however, because the convection was newly formed.[13] The depression continued to intensify as it became better organized, and at 5:00 pm EDT (21:00 UTC), it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ike.[14][15] Ike was located in an environment that was supportive of intensification, and the forecast showed Ike becoming a hurricane within 36 hours of its upgrade.[16][17]

File:Ike from the space center.jpg

During the overnight hours of September 1, Ike stopped intensifying, as part of the eastern band began to erode as northerly wind shear began to impact the system.[18] By late morning on September 2, Ike began to intensify again as shear relaxed a little on the system.[19] Throughout the day, deep convection developed around the center of Ike indicating that the storm was still strengthening. Ike also quickened its movement to 18 mph (29 km/h) due to a strengthening mid-level high located to the north-northeast of Ike.[20] Again intensification stopped during the overnight hours as the structure of Ike remained mostly unchanged.[21]

Ike remained at the same intensity and structure through the early morning hours of September 3. However, by the late morning, Ike began to intensify again. Microwave satellites depicted an eye beginning to form and Ike strengthened just below hurricane status.[22] The eye continued to become better defined and by mid-afternoon Ike was upgraded to a hurricane.[23] Ike was in an area that lacked vertical wind shear and intensification was likely.[24] Due to the lack of wind shear, Ike began to undergo explosive intensification and was upgraded to a major hurricane with winds of 115 mph (185 km/h) only three hours after being upgraded to a hurricane. During the three hour span, it is estimated that the pressure dropped 24 mbar (0.71 inHg).[25][26] Ike continued to intensify and was further upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale three hours later with winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) and an estimated pressure of 948 mbar (27.99 inHg).[27] These were satellite estimates, not actual measurements (as it was still too far from land for reconnaissance aircraft to reach).[2]

By the early morning hours on September 4, Ike had reached its peak intensity of 145 mph (230 km/h) with an estimated pressure of 935 mbar (27.61 inHg), making it the most intense storm of the season.

File:Ike 12 sept 2008 1705Z.jpg

Ike was now forecast to weaken as the upper-level high to the north of the system continued to strengthen resulting in stronger northerly wind shear affecting Ike.[28] The explosive intensification lasted roughly 24 hours as Ike intensified from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane with a pressure drop of 61 mbar (1.80 inHg). By the late morning, Ike began to weaken as the cloud tops around the eye began to warm. Models were forecasting Ike to encounter strong wind shear and slowly weaken but maintain major hurricane status.[29] This trend of the clouds warming continued through the afternoon and Ike continued to weaken slowly. By mid-afternoon, Ike was barely a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 135 mph (215 km/h).[30] Ike began to show signs of intensification once more during the late night hours. The eye became more clear and better defined and the clouds around the eye began to deepen and become colder.[31]

The show of possible strengthening did not last long, however, and by the morning of September 5, northerly wind shear began to erode the northern part of the system, and the cloud tops around the eye began to warm once more. The structure of the eye became less prominent as microwave satellite imagery showed that the inner structure of Ike was not deteriorating or beginning to undergo an eyewall replacement cycle.[32] A later pass made by the satellite found that the northern eye wall had eroded and most of the convection was in the southern semicircle of the storm. This indicated that Ike was continuing to weaken as it remained in a hostile environment.[33] Ike slowly weakened to a low-end Category Three by the afternoon hours. A ridge to the north of Ike continued to push the storm towards the southwest, into an area more favorable for intensification.[34]

Ike maintained its intensity throughout the night as its eye briefly reappeared around 8 pm EDT, leading the NHC to forecast a slow strengthening trend.[35] Overnight, Ike reformed a 24 nmi (48 km) wide eye, however, it was cloud covered.[36] However, during the late morning hours on September 6, wind shear weakened Ike to a Category Two hurricane.[37] This weakening was short lived and Ike began to undergo another round of rapid intensification, though not as significant as the first. Ike's eye began to clear out again and the system became better organized and based on an Air Force Reconnaissance Aircraft measurement, Ike had intensified into a Category Four six hours after being downgraded to a Category Two. During the afternoon and overnight, Ike had winds sustained at 135 mph (217 km/h) as it approached and passed over the Turks and Caicos Islands by the early morning hours of September 7.[38]

File:Hurricane Ike approaching Cuba.jpg

Ike made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Holguín Province, Cuba on the evening of September 7, near Cabo Lucrecia on the northern coast.[2][39] It passed across the central provinces of Holguín, Las Tunas, and Camagüey, emerging south of Cuba on September 8. It made landfall a second time as a Category 1 hurricane in Pinar del Río before entering the Gulf in the afternoon of September 9.

During the night of September 10, Ike exhibited a rapid drop in central pressure, falling from 963 mbar (28.44 inHg) to 944 mbar (27.88 inHg) as it passed over the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico. This drop was not reflected by wind speed, however, which only increased to 100 mph (160 km/h) from 85 mph (140 km/h). Multiple wind maxima were noted by the National Hurricane Center, indicating the structure was absorbing and distributing energy over a large area, rather than concentrating it near the center. The pressure was significantly lower than normal for a low-end Category 2 hurricane, as 944 mbar (27.88 inHg) is more typical of a strong Category 3 or a Category 4 hurricane.[2]

File:HGX N0R Legend 0.png
Over the next two days, Ike maintained a steady course towards Galveston and Houston. It increased only slightly in intensity to 110 mph (175 km/h) – the high end of Category 2 – but exhibited an unusually large wind field. This caused a projected storm surge of a Category 4 height though the windspeeds were that of a Category 2. As it approached the Texas coast, the inner structure and eyewall became more organized.[40][41]

Ike made U.S. landfall at Galveston, Texas, on September 13 at 2:10 am CDT (0710 UTC), as a high Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph (175 km/h) and a central pressure of 950 mbar (28.05 inHg). The 2:00 am NHC advisory cited tropical storm and hurricane force winds extending 275 miles (443 km) and 120 miles (190 km), respectively, from the center. Around 3:00 am CDT (0800 UTC), it passed over San Leon, Texas and made its final landfall near Baytown, Texas around 4:00 am CDT (0900 UTC).

On September 13, Ike began a slow turn north, then northeast. After losing strength to tropical-storm force winds near Palestine, Texas around 1 pm,[2] it passed 100 miles (160 km) to the east of Dallas and west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Maintaining tropical storm-force winds as it moved inland, it tracked across Arkansas on the night of September 13 and also produced tornadoes across the state. It brought heavy rainfall all along its path, but moved more quickly the farther north it went as it slowly lost tropical characteristics.[2]

Early on September 14, Tropical Storm Ike merged with a large cold front moving from west to east over the central U.S. and became extratropical. This deep low pressure continued toward the north-east spreading heavy rains and damaging winds with hurricane-force gusts across a large portion of the Midwest. It moved into Canada that night, giving strong winds and heavy rain across Southern Ontario and most of Quebec, before exiting into the Atlantic at the latitude of the Labrador Sea, early on the 16th.[2]




On September 5, Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency in advance of Ike's arrival, which was expected to be as early as September 8. Authorities in Key West issued a mandatory evacuation for all visitors for September 6. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) positioned supplies, and emergency response crews in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.[42]

Florida Keys officials began evacuations on the low-lying chain of islands in phases, starting at the end in Key West by 8 am Sunday and continuing throughout the day—at noon for the Middle Keys, and at 4 pm for the Upper Keys, including Key Largo. Visitors were told to leave on Saturday.[43]


File:After Hurricane Ike in Texas.jpg

On September 10, U.S. President George W. Bush made an emergency declaration for Texas in advance of Hurricane Ike, making more federal help available for preparations and evacuations.[44]

On September 7, The Texas Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network(TXWARN ) activated its 700 member utility mutual aid network and began coordination with the State Emergency Operations Center and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to begin preparations and notifications to utilities to prepare for IKE. [After Action Report: Hurricane IKE]

State rural water associations activated mutual aid networks to prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Hanna and Hurricane Ike while still providing assistance to areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.[45][46] The Texas Rural Water Association held meetings with state agencies on Tuesday, September 9, to plan for landfall along the Texas gulf coast.[47][48]

On September 11, forecasting models began to show Ike making landfall just south of Galveston. City Manager Steven LeBlanc late Wednesday issued a mandatory evacuation order for the low lying west end of Galveston Island.[49] Later, the mandatory evacuation order was extended to the entire island of Galveston, as well as low-lying areas around Houston, Texas.[50] Residents evacuating ahead of Ike were received by emergency workers in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The fleeing residents were provided a place of refuge, medical treatment, and provisions until Ike had passed. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and submerged New Orleans, the DFW area became a place for New Orleans residents to recover from the storm's destructive forces. The DFW area was still providing relief to evacuees from Gustav earlier in the 2008 hurricane season when it began preparations for evacuating residents of coastal Texas prior to Ike's arrival.

Also on September 11, at 8:19 pm (CDT), the National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston, Texas issued a strongly worded bulletin, regarding storm surge along the shoreline of Galveston Bay. The bulletin advised that residents living in single-family homes in some parts of coastal Texas faced "certain death" if they did not heed orders to evacuate.[51][52][53][54] Reports said as many as 40 percent of Galveston's citizens may have not paid attention to the warnings.[55] It was feared to be much the same in Port Arthur, and it was predicted that low-lying areas between Morgan City, Louisiana and Baffin Bay, Texas, particularly those areas east of Ike's projected eye landfall would experience the greatest damage from storm surges of up to 20 feet (6.1 m). Waves at sea were expected to be higher, up to 70 feet (21 m) according to computer simulations.[56]

The price of gas increased in the expectation of damage to some of the numerous oil refineries along the South Texas coast, or at least delays in production from the oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.[57]


Fatalities by country
Country Deaths Missing
Haiti 74 ???
Dominican Republic 2 ???
Cuba 7 ???
United States 112 34
Total 195 34

Turks and Caicos IslandsEdit

File:Caribbean winter 2008 2009 2 969.JPG
File:Caribbean winter 2008 2009 2 952.JPG

Power was lost throughout Grand Turk Island,[59] 95% of the houses were damaged, one-fifth of which was significant damage. There was also significant structural damage to roofs and buildings containing health services resulting in the disruption of most health services. Pharmacy stores, and supplies facilities received major damage or total destruction. Water and electricity were also disrupted but now has been restored. There was some damage to the clinic on Salt Cay. In North Caicos and Middle Caicos, there was either no damage or minimal damage to the clinic. Meanwhile in South Caicos, 95% of the houses were also damaged, with over one-third significantly damaged or destroyed. Damage also occurred on other islands, pockets of which were significant, but in general, damage was minor.[60] After the eye of the storm passed over, it continued west at 15 mph (24 km/h) headed directly for eastern Cuba.[61][62] Buildings on the islands have been severely weakened and 750 people have lost their homes.[63] Due to the extent and magnitude of damage and affected population, the Government of the Turks and Caicos declared Grand Turk and South Caicos Islands disaster areas.[64] Total damages in the Turks and Caicos Islands were estimated at $500 million.


File:Destroyed school in Port-Au-Prince.jpg

The outer bands of Ike caused additional flooding in Haiti, which was already devastated by Hanna and also hit hard by Fay and Gustav. The last bridge still standing into the city of Gonaïves was washed away, slowing relief in the community considerably and creating a deeper humanitarian and food crisis in the hard-hit region. 74 deaths were reported in Haiti from Ike,[65] of which most were in the coastal community of Cabaret which was swept away by floodwaters and mudslides.[66] Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis called for help at the end of the week, saying that four storms in three weeks have left over 550 dead and as many as one million homeless.[67] She also said that parts of Gonaïves were so severely damaged that the city may have to be rebuilt elsewhere.[67] No damage figures were available from Haiti or the Dominican Republic.


Costliest Cuban hurricanes
Cost refers to total estimated property damage.
Rank Hurricane Season Damages 2014 USD
1 Ike 2008 $7.3 billion $7.88 billion [68]
2 Michelle 2001 $2.2 billion $2.89 billion [69]
3 Gustav 2008 $2.1 billion $2.27 billion [68]
4 Dennis 2005 $1.5 billion $1.78 billion [70]
5 Ivan 2004 $1.2 billion $1.48 billion [71]

Just over one million Cubans had been evacuated on Sunday, officials said.[citation needed] In Baracoa, 200 homes were reported to be destroyed and waves were running 23 ft (7 m) high and peaked at 40 ft (12 m) in different areas of Cuba. The Category 3 hurricane made landfall on September 8 on the north coast of eastern Cuba in the province of Holguín near Puerto de Sama, with sustained winds of about 120 mph (193 km/h),[72][73] causing widespread flooding and damage to the eastern provinces.[citation needed] It passed across the central provinces of Holguín, Las Tunas, and Camagüey, emerging over the sea to the south of Cuba during September 8. Ike had dropped to a Category One by the time it crossed the island.[74] It then followed the southern coast of Cuba and crossed the western end of the island in Pinar del Río Province, close to the path taken by Hurricane Gustav ten days previously. Another 1.6 million people had evacuated in advance of its second landfall. The western areas of Cuba, already devastated by Hurricane Gustav just 10 days before Ike hit, suffered additional major flooding from the rain and storm surge.[75] The sugar cane crop was devastated, with over 3,400 square kilometres (1,300 sq mi) destroyed. Alongside Gustav, they were described as the "worst ever" storms by Cuban officials.[76]

In total, seven people were killed in Cuba from Ike.[75] The combined damage estimate from Ike and Gustav, and succeeding Paloma is about $9.7 billion (USD), with $7.3 billion of that from Ike, making Ike the most destructive hurricane in Cuban history.[77]

United StatesEdit

File:Hurricane Ike NEXRAD radar animation.gif
Costliest U.S. Atlantic hurricanes
Cost refers to total estimated property damage
Rank Hurricane Season Damages
1 Katrina 2005 &10000108000000000000000$108 billion
2 Ike 2008 &10000029520000000000000$29.5 billion
3 Andrew 1992 &10000026500000000000000$26.5 billion
4 Wilma 2005 &10000020600000000000000$20.6 billion
5 Ivan 2004 &10000018820000000000000$18.8 billion
6 Irene 2011 &10000015600000000000000$15.6 billion
7 Charley 2004 &10000015113000000000000$15.1 billion
8 Rita 2005 &10000012037000000000000$12 billion
9 Frances 2004 &10000009507000000000000$9.51 billion
10 Allison 2001 &10000009000000000000000$9 billion
Source: NOAA[78]

Due to the intensity of the storm, Texas closed many of its chemical plants and oil refineries. Because much of the United States oil refining capacity is located in Texas, the closings caused a temporary increase in the prices of gasoline, home heating oil, and natural gas.[79] Increases were particularly high in North Carolina, especially in the mountains, where average prices were as much as 60 cents higher than the national average.[80] The closing of refineries so soon after Hurricane Gustav, and the time required to restart production, also resulted in shortages of gasoline in such places as the Carolinas and Tennessee, partly as a result of panic buying.[81] Preliminary post-storm damage estimates in the US were placed at 18 billion US dollars (2008) as stated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.[82] Eighty-two deaths have been reported in the US, including forty-eight in Texas, eight in Louisiana, one in Arkansas, two in Tennessee, one in Kentucky, seven in Indiana, four in Missouri, two in Illinois, two in Michigan, seven in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania,[83] although there are 202 missing.[84][85][86][87][88][89] On September 15, 2008 the United States Congress held a moment of silence for those who died in the hurricane.

MV AntalinaEdit

On September 11, the 584-foot (178 m) cargo ship, the MV Antalina, was among the ships that left Port Arthur to avoid the hurricane. The ship had a crew of 22 and carried a cargo of petroleum coke. On September 12, the ship's engine failed, and the ship was adrift 90 nautical miles (170 km) from the shore. The crew unsuccessfully attempted to repair the engine and requested to be evacuated by the Coast Guard, but the rescue mission was aborted because weather conditions were not within the safety parameters. The crew was forced to ride out the storm, but kept in contact with the Coast Guard.[90][91] The ship successfully rode out the storm and all 22 crew members were uninjured. On September 13, a tugboat was dispatched to return the vessel to port.[92]


File:Hurricane Ike New Iberia.jpg

The storm surge ahead of Ike blew onshore of Louisiana well ahead of Ike's predicted landfall in Texas on September 13. Areas in coastal south-central and southwestern Louisiana, some of which were flooded by Gustav, were re-flooded as a result of Ike.[93] Some areas that had not yet recovered from Gustav power outages received additional outages,[94] of 200,000.[95] The hardest-hit areas were in and around Cameron Parish, which also sustained catastrophic damage in 2005 from Hurricane Rita and in 1957 from Hurricane Audrey. Nearly every square inch of the coastline in that area was flooded heavily once again, with floodwater reaching as far north as Lake Charles. Hundreds of people had to be rescued,[96] including 363 people who were rescued by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Search and Rescue teams in conjunction with the Louisiana National Guard and the U.S. Coast Guard.[97]

One person was killed in a flooded bayou in Terrebonne Parish,[98] and a wind-related death was reported near Houma.[99] Two other deaths took place in a car crash in the evacuation phase in Iberville Parish,[100] and two other storm related deaths in Jefferson Davis Parish were caused by natural causes (disease).[99] While doing repairs, two energy-company contractors from Oklahoma were electrocuted.[101]


File:Hurricane Ike Gilchrist damage edit.jpg

On the morning of September 13, 2008, the eye of Hurricane Ike approached the upper Texas coast, making landfall at 2:10 am CDT over the east end of Galveston Island, with a high storm surge, and travelled north up Galveston Bay, along the east side of Houston [102] (see storm-path image). People in low-lying areas who had not heeded evacuation orders, in single-family one- or two-story homes, were warned by the weather service that they faced "certain death" from the overnight storm surge,[53] a statement that turned out to be true for some unable to evacuate.[103]

In regional Texas towns, electrical power began failing on September 12 before 8 pm CDT,[53] leaving millions without power (estimates range from 2.8 million[104] to 4.5 million[105] customers). Grocery store shelves in the Houston area were left empty for weeks in the aftermath of the storm.[106]

File:Hurricane Ike-38263.jpg

In Galveston, by 4 pm CDT (2100 UTC) on September 12, the rising storm surge began overtopping the 17-ft (5.2 m) Galveston Seawall, which faces the Gulf of Mexico;[53] waves had been crashing along the seawall earlier, from 9 am CDT.[107] Although Seawall Boulevard is elevated above the shoreline, many areas of town slope down behind the seawall to the lower elevation of Galveston Island.

Even though there were advance evacuation plans, Mary Jo Naschke, spokesperson for the city of Galveston, estimated that (as of Friday morning) a quarter of the city's residents paid no attention to calls for them to evacuate, despite predictions that most of Galveston Island would suffer heavy flooding storm tide.[107] By 6 pm Friday night, estimates varied as to how many of the 58,000 residents remained, but the figures of remaining residents were in the thousands.[108] Widespread flooding included downtown Galveston:[102] six ft (2 m) deep inside the Galveston County Courthouse, and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston was flooded.[102] 2,400 Medical Branch employees, including 120 faculty members, were laid off after Hurricane Ike devastated the university.[109] Tourist attractions on the island suffered various degrees of damage. The Lone Star Flight Museum suffered massive damage, as the storm surge washed through the airport and hangars with about 8 feet (2.4 m) of water,[110] and the recently completed Schlitterbahn Water Park was still closed in November 2008;[111] however, Moody Gardens was built with storms in mind and was able to withstand the worst of the storm.[112]

File:Hurricane Ike-38265.jpg

In preparation of Hurricane Ike, Texas A&M University at Galveston closed on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, at 5 pm and evacuation was ordered. Ike made U.S. landfall at Galveston, Texas, on September 13 at 2:10 am. It was the second most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the United States. The campus was not severely damaged; however, the infrastructure of Galveston Island as a whole was. As a result of Galveston Island not being able to support the close to 1800 students the enormous challenge of relocating all students, administration, and staff began. On Wednesday, September 24, 2008 fall classes resumed in College Station. TAMUG resumed operations in Galveston in the spring of 2009.

In Houston, windows also broke in downtown buildings, such as the 75-story JP Morgan Chase Tower,[102] and Reliant Stadium was damaged. Also as a result of the high wind and eye wall that passed directly through the city, power outages were a major problem, as some residents were without electricity for over a month after landfall. Some parts of Houston were not expected to have power until November 1. Luckily, since the storm system moved rapidly and did not linger over Houston, flooding wasn't a major problem for most of the city, as it normally is as a result of the geography.[102] Due to the damage to the stadium, the Houston Texans' game with the Baltimore Ravens, originally scheduled for September 14, was pushed back to November 9.[113] Hurricane Ike affected the Houston Astros' late dash for Major League Baseball's playoffs, postponing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's games against the Chicago Cubs. [114] Two of the games were moved to Milwaukee's Miller Park and were played Sunday September 14 and Monday September 15.[115] In the September 14 game, Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter.[116] The final game was tentatively scheduled for Monday September 29 in Houston. The Astros were eliminated from playoff contention on September 26, and the game was officially canceled as it would not affect post-season standings.[117]

File:Houston Morgan Chase Building Ike.jpg

On Bolivar Peninsula, Texas dozens of people were rescued as flood waters exceeded 12 feet (3.7 m) above sea level in advance of the hurricane. The peninsula bore the brunt of Ike's right-front quadrant, historically the worst part of a hurricane, and experienced catastrophic damage with the worst being between Rollover Pass and Gilchrist, Texas – west of High Island.[118] Media estimates of lost homes exceeded 80% and could top 95%.[119] A large number of people who did not evacuate in advance of the storm remain unaccounted for.

The Southeast Texas communities of Bridge City on Sabine Lake and large areas of nearby Orange (80 miles from the center of landfall) were inundated by the storm surge. Bridge City mayor Kirk Roccaforte estimated that only about 14 (later updated to around two dozen) homes in the city were unaffected by the surge.[120]

Waterfront areas of Clear Lake were flooded, with floating debris battering homes and blocking some streets, such as in the Kemah area.

NASA's Johnson Space Center suffered minor roof damage to Mission Control and minor cosmetic damage to some of its other buildings. NASA's operations at Ellington Field also sustained roof and awning damage,[121] and one hangar was severely damaged.

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), the primary hospital in Galveston county, was dealt significant damage due to Hurricane Ike.[122] Wide scale flooding caused failures to all facilities systems and allowed mold to invade all the buildings. All students at the UTMB medical center were transferred to other Texas medical schools immediately after the storm while determinations were made about the future of the hospital and medical school. November 12, 2008 saw thirty percent of the employees terminated in a reduction in force.[123] As of March 2009 only 1200 employees were currently employed and being paid. Another 1200 employees are on unpaid administrative leave. All emergency facilities were moved to the Houston medical center. It wasn't until August 1, 2009 that UTMB's emergency room was reopened.

As a historical comparison, on September 8, 1900 the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 landed along a path similar to Ike's, bringing with it a storm surge that inundated most of Galveston Island, which was Texas' largest city and a major U.S. port. As a result, much of the city was destroyed, and at least 6,000 people were killed in a few hours. Engineers subsequently increased the average elevation of the island by 4 ft (1.2 m) and constructed a 17-foot (5.2-m) seawall to block incoming waves.

Farther inlandEdit


On September 14, after Ike became extratropical and was enhanced by an upper level shortwave trough, a major wind event took place across the lower and middle Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes, and significant rainfall and flooding took place to the west. Several areas in Illinois and Indiana, already flooded by the frontal boundary to the north, saw significant additional rainfall.[124] Due to flooding in Chicago, Todd Stroger declared a state of emergency for Cook County due to flooding of the Des Plaines River. Hurricane-force wind gusts were reported to the east of the center across parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania with significant wind damage including structural damage to buildings and trees. The Louisville area declared a state of emergency due to major damage and power outages, and the Louisville International Airport was closed temporarily. A LG&E spokesperson said that this was the worst power outage in 30 years.[125] Later in the day, a statewide state of emergency was declared in Kentucky by Governor Steve Beshear.[126] Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport was also temporarily shut down, and the control tower was evacuated. In Shannon County Missouri, an outdoor music festival was taking place; though a large tree fell causing a power outage and Sinking Creek was high there were no injuries reported. In Cincinnati, numerous reports of roof damage were called in to law enforcement, and on September 15, most of the schools in Hamilton County, Butler County, and Clermont County had classes cancelled because of power outages, some of which lasted seven days. Wind gusts of 75 miles per hour (121 km/h) were recorded at Columbus, which is equivalent to sustained wind levels found in a Category 1 hurricane.[127] Additionally, a state of emergency was declared in Ohio on Monday.[128] Also in Salem, Indiana and Scottsburg, Indiana, wind gusts up to 81 miles per hour (130 km/h) were recorded. In Floyds Knobs, Indiana near Louisville, Kentucky, winds were reported in excess of 70 mph. In Indiana, high winds caused more than 200,000 customers to be without power throughout the state. Wind gusts of 63 miles per hour (101 km/h) were recorded at Indianapolis International Airport. Coming to Indianapolis, on September 14, Ike also caused damages to the first-ever motorcycle Grand Prix held in Indianapolis, stopping both 125cc and MotoGP races after the two thirds of the distance, and causing the cancellation of the 250cc race.

In Arkansas, about 200,000 customers lost power as a result of the winds, the worst power loss in that state since an ice storm in 2000.[129] In the Louisville area, over 300,000 customers were without power — the worst power outage in the utility's history.[125] The Cincinnati metropolitan area was hard hit as well, with over 927,000 customers losing power in that region.[130] A Duke Energy spokesperson said "We have never seen anything like this. Never. We’re talking about 90 percent of our customers without power." There were so many power outages and so few workers available Duke Energy was thinking of sending workers from their base in Charlotte, North Carolina.[131] Many homes and business were without power for 3–7 days. In the Dayton, Ohio area 300,000 of 515,000 Dayton Power & Light Co. customers lost power at some point following severe wind storms on the afternoon of September 14, according to a company spokesperson. As of Thursday morning, September 18, 90,000 DP&L customers remained without power.[132] Also hard hit were central Ohio (with over 350,000 customers losing power) and northeastern Ohio (with over 310,000 customers losing power),[133] as well as Illinois (49,000),[134] Missouri (85,000),[135] and western Pennsylvania (with over 180,000 customers losing power).[136] In western Kentucky, outside crews had to be brought in from as far away as Mississippi to restore power.[137] In Indiana, about 350,000 customers lost power statewide, mainly in the southern part of the state.[138] In New York State, over 100,000 customers were reported without power.[139] In total, 50 deaths have been blamed on Ike in the inland states.[140]


File:Accumulation Ike Canada.png

In Ontario, Ike's remnants brought a record amount of rain on Sunday, September 14, in the Windsor region. It was closely following a slow-moving frontal system that had drenched the city the day before, dumping 75.2 mm (2.96 in) of rain and breaking the old record of 39.1 mm (1.54 in) in 1979, according to Environment Canada. Most damage in the Windsor area with Ike was confined to downed power lines and toppled tree branches with the wind gusts reaching 80 km/h (50 mph), with spotty street flooding that made driving completely treacherous in some areas.[141] Highways were washed out in the Bruce Peninsula, and trees were uprooted in London, Ontario. The storm continued to cause wind and rain damage as it continues east along the St. Lawrence River leaving around 25,000 customers without electricity, especially in Belleville, Brockville, Bancroft, Peterborough, Bowmanville, Huntsville and Timmins.[142]

In Quebec, regions to the north of the Saint Lawrence River received 50 mm (2.0 in) to 70 mm (2.8 in) of rainfall (Hautes-Laurentides, Haute-Mauricie, Réserve faunique des Laurentides, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Charlevoix and Côte-Nord). Maximum rainfall was recorded between Lac-St-Jean and the Réserve faunique des Laurentides with a station recording more than 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain[143] Along the river, the amount were more in the 10 mm (0.4 in) and 30 mm (1.2 in) range, except in Quebec City area which received almost 50 mm (2.0 in), most of it between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm[143] This rain caused small inundations, storm drain overflows, and closed one major highway.[144] In Montreal, high humidity levels pushed by the system caused electrical malfunction one of the lines of the subway, stranding commuters.[145] High winds up to 78 km/h (48 mph) caused, at their worst, over 25,000 households to lose electricity in Montreal, Laval, Estrie and Montérégie[146] and when it reached the Magdalen Islands, it had enough strength to cause a sail boat, the Océan, to sink. Its six passengers were rescued by a helicopter of the Canadian Coast Guard.[143][146]

The "Ike Spike" in gasoline prices was quite severe in Canada, with gas prices rising anywhere from 15 to 20 cents per liter.[147][148]


Ike's remnants combined with an unusual depression that affected southwestern Iceland on September 17, three days after Ike became extratropical.[149] The storm produced 9 m (30 ft) waves along southwest coasts of the island. Rainfall peaked near 200 mm (7.9 in) close to Reykjavik. Wind gusts were measured up to 89 miles per hour (143 km/h).[150] Strong winds on the backside of the system produced a large dust storm in northern areas of the island.[151]


Criticism of FEMAEdit

After Hurricane Ike many residents applied to FEMA for loans and FEMA trailers. Many residents were forced to wait several weeks until their trailers arrived. Some waited for up to two months living in hotels, homes of relatives several miles away, or in their homes with no power or running water. Many residents were very angry at the response that FEMA gave to the problem. Texas state leaders also accused FEMA of foot-dragging and insensitivity.[152] Responsible people who had prepared by buying insurance were declined any aid at all, even if need was proven, while people who had not prepared, who had bought no or inadequate insurance, were offered help. Some residents who needed a trailer had almost finished repairing their homes by the time their trailers arrived. Residents in Bridge City were outraged that FEMA had not given their homes inspections so that they could apply for loans and trailers. In an effort to help Bridge City, people in Port Neches, Nederland, and residents of Bridge City whose homes had not been damaged offered their services to the people of Bridge City in an effort to speed up the rebuilding of Bridge City.[citation needed]

FEMA did not provide debit cards to Ike victims, as it did for Katrina victims.[153]


Hurricane Ike forced the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs to play out their 3 game set in Milwaukee at Miller Park.[154] Ike also forced the postponement of the second-week NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Ravens. That postponement gave both teams a bye week in the beginning of the season on September 14, 2008. The game was later made up in Houston after repairs were made to Reliant Stadium on November 9, 2008. It also forced the NCAA football game on September 13 between the Houston Cougars and the Air Force Falcons to be moved from Robertson Stadium in Houston to Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas.[155] Ike also forced the postponement of a Texas Longhorns game in Austin,[156] Texas due to increased evacuee traffic in the city's shelters. Tickets for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) WrestleMania XXV were originally scheduled to go on sale September 20, 2008, but it was postponed out of concern for the residents near the Gulf of Mexico due to Hurricane Ike and the disaster area declaration by Texas Governor Rick Perry. Following another postponement due to the effect of Ike on the state of Texas, WWE announced that ticket sales would be postponed until November 8, 2008.

Relief effortsEdit

There were a number of relief efforts set up to help those caught up in Ike, including one set up by Portlight and Weather Underground. Most of them raised at least $10,000 to help out.[citation needed] The Portlight/Wunderground effort created some initial controversy springing from the unexpected overwhelming response to requests for assistance..

Portlight delivered over $500,000 worth of equipment to people with disabilities and outlying communities that were impacted by Hurricane Ike. They also delivered pizza to the residents of the hard hit Bolivar peninsula and helped provide a Christmas party for residents of Bridge City, Tx. [157][158][159][160]

It should also be noted that AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Members of Class XIV and the Southern Baptist Convention's Disaster Relief Program responded to aid in the Relief Effort by working with The Red Cross and Salvation Army throughout Texas.

Oil and gas spillsEdit

Hurricane Ike's winds, surge and giant waves tossed storage tanks and punctured pipelines. However, operators in the Gulf of Mexico (ranging from major integrated producers like BP and Shell, to small privately owned independents) shut in operations in advance of Ike's approach as a precautionary measure. As a result of these shut-ins, US oil production dropped from 5 Mbbl/d (790,000 m3/d) to 4 Mbbl/d (640,000 m3/d) in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. By late November, production was restored to pre-Ike levels. Despite the hurricane, only 500,000 US gallons (1,900 m3) of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico and the marshes, bayous and bays of Louisiana and Texas over a coastline distance of 185 miles. Much of the spillage occurred in the High Island area of Galveston County, Texas, where storm surge rose over a low-lying oilfield and flooded the marshy area around several producing wells, beam pumps and storage tanks. During the days both before and after the storm, companies and residents reported around 448 releases of gas, oil and other substances into the environment in Louisiana and Texas. The hardest hit places were industrial centers near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as oil production facilities off Louisiana's coast.[citation needed]

The Coast Guard, with the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, has responded to more than 3,000 pollution reports associated with the storm and its surge along the upper Texas coast. Most callers complain about abandoned propane tanks, paint cans and other hazardous materials containers turning up in marshes, backyards and other places.[161]

Oil Tanker SKS Satilla collision against a missing oil rigEdit

On March 6, 2009, a 159,000-ton Norwegian tanker SKS Satilla collided with a jackup oil rig Ensco 74 [1], which had been missing after Ike struck [2]. The tanker's double hull prevented oil spill at the site 65 miles south of Galveston, which is 115 miles west of the original position of the rig [3]. Four drilling rigs including Ensco 74 were damaged by Ike, but it was the only rig missing. At least 52 oil platforms were damaged by Ike.[162]


Because of the tremendous damage, number of deaths, and people left missing, the name Ike was officially retired on April 22, 2009 by the World Meteorological Organization, and will never again be used for a North Atlantic hurricane. It will be replaced with Isaias in the 2014 season.[163]


Students at Ball High School in Galveston, Texas, created the documentary Ike: A Documentary. It premiered at Galveston's Opera House on May 21, 2009.[164] It was made available on DVD on September 13, 2009, the one year anniversary of Ike.[164]

Mark Hanna with the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) prepared a 60-minute documentary on Hurricane Ike entitled 09-13-08, Hurricane Ike. The program aired in the spring of 2009 on 10 of the 13 PBS TV stations in Texas and may be seen at ICT's Web site.

Chris Terrill filmed the impact of Ike on Galveston, in the second part of his three-part series Nature's Fury. The film captured the evacuation, storm surge and 17-foot (5.2 m) waves overtopping the sea wall preceding the hurricane's arrival; before and after footage of the historic Balinese Room nightclub that was destroyed in the storm; scenes on the street during 100 mph winds and lashing rain; and the devastation afterwards. [165]

Future mitigationEdit

A commission was established by Rick Perry, the Texas Governor, following the hurricane to investigate preparing for and mitigating future disasters. A proposal has been put forth to build an "Ike Dike", a massive levee system which would protect the Galveston Bay, and the important industrial facilities which line the coast and the ship channel, from a future, potentially more destructive storm. The proposal has gained widespread support from a variety of business interests. As of 2009 it is currently only at the conceptual stage.[166]

See alsoEdit


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