|Hurricane Ike 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.
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. By the early morning hours of September 4, Ike was a Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and a pressure of 935 mbar. 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 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 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. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kennedy County region near Corpus Christi, Texas. In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the Mississippi coastline and the Florida Panhandle.
Damages from Ike in U.S. coastal and inland areas are estimated at $29.5 billion.
Photos used by permission of Stacy Parent.