While we are on the subject of hurricanes, ten years ago, today, Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, Texas, at 2:10am CDT. It was recorded as a Category 4 on September 4 as it moved near the Leeward Islands. Though it had lessened in strength from its prior Cat4 status to Cat2, this was a bad storm in costs, damage and death. Ike’s storm surge went right over the Galveston Seawall, a ten-mile wall built for protection after the devastating Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
Ike claimed 195 lives…74 in Haiti, six in Cuba and 113 in the US. As of August 2011, 16 are still missing. This was a huge storm that also damaged the Bahamas, the Turks & Caicos, the Florida Panhandle, Mississippi and Louisiana. It is the most expensive storm to ever hit Cuba and, at $38 billion, was the second-costliest storm in US history until 2012.
I was living in Texas when Ike hit. I was too far inland to be affected by more than some rain storms. The terrain in Texas is quite different from North Carolina and even though the Austin Area is roughly the same distance from the Texas coast as the Piedmont/Triangle is from the NC coast, my native Texan friends told me that Austin had never been hit by a hurricane.
I was employed by the very agency that responded to the disaster…The Texas General Land Office, though I was not working in the Coastal Management Unit. I was working for the Veterans Land Board but, I remember the teams going down to help with the clean up and the pictures of the damage that were posted to our intranet. The stunning images of the debris that littered I-45 and the heartbreaking photos of the flooding to downtown Galveston. NASA’s Johnson Space Center (Houston, we’ve had a problem…) suffered roof damage to Mission Control and my beloved Lone Star Flight Museum wound up with $18 million in damaged planes and had to be moved inland to Ellington Field. ~Victoria