Texas Landscape Project: Map of the Path of Hurricane Ike, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike struck southeast Texas and Louisiana on September 13, 2008, bringing high winds and heavy storm surge as high as 17 feet. The Houston area was especially hard-hit, suffering 11 fatalities, 92,000 damaged homes, 7100 affected businesses, and 1.5 million power outages.

Despite the severe harm from Ike, it was actually just a category 2 storm when it came ashore. In that sense, Ike was a reminder of the hazards that growing coastal communities face, especially with climate change bringing higher seas and more powerful storms.

To cope with, if not eliminate, these risks, Texans have built seawalls, restricted beach development, acquired near-shore parklands, strengthened building codes, improved early-warning systems, required wind and flood insurance, and restored protective wetlands and dunes.

Selected sources:

Keith, Gary. 2007. There Once Was a Congressman from Texas. University of Texas Press.

National Weather Service. 2013. Atlantic Hurricane Season (2007-2013). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Schwartz, Babe. 2006. Oral history interview. Conservation History Association of Texas.