Monday, September 13th 2021, 4:51 am - On this day in weather history, Hurricane Ike hit Texas.
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.
Hurricane Ike was a Category 4 storm that battered areas of the Caribbean, United States, and Canada. On September 1, 2008, Ike was officially a tropical depression in the Cape Verde Islands. By Sep. 4, Ike peaked as a Category 4 storm, with winds as high as 233 km/h.
Ike swept across the Caribbean, killing 74 people in Haiti. By early Sep. 13, the storm reached Texas as a Category 2 hurricane. At 2:10 a.m. Ike made landfall on Galveston Island. An aggressive storm surge travelled along the east side of Houston.
"A US-Air Force Staff Sergeant receives a hug from a resident after Hurricane Ike, September 13, 2008." Courtesy of Wikipedia
In the Galveston-Houston area, people were warned that they needed to evacuate from low-lying living areas or they would face "certain death." Almost 16,000 families in the area stayed in pop-up shelters.
Once the storm hit, downtown Galveston was drowning in floodwaters as high as 2 metres. Buildings in the area received extensive flood damage, including the Galveston County Courthouse, the University of Texas Medical Branch, and the main hospital in Galveston county.
"The remains of a school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on September 15, 2008." Courtesy of Wikipedia
In Houston, Ike broke windows from the 75-story JP Morgan Chase Tower. The storm also knocked out power in the area, leaving people in the dark for over a month.
In Bolivar Peninsula, Texas, floodwaters reached 3.7 m — dozens of people needed to be rescued. The storm destroyed around 80 per cent of homes in the peninsula. Ike killed 113 people in Texas.
The search-and-rescue efforts after Ike was the largest in Texas history.
"Numerous hurricane-damaged houses, buildings, and structures were still to be found in early January 2009 on Grand Turk." Courtesy of Wikipedia
The next day, Ike's remnants unleashed 75.2 millimetres of rain on Windsor, Ont., breaking the daily rain record.
Ike is the sixth costliest storm in the U.S., causing $30 billion worth of damage.
To learn more about Hurricane Ike, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."