Hurricane Ike 2008
One of the worst storms in US History

Ike was a long-lived and major Cape Verde hurricane that caused extensive damage and many deaths across portions of the Caribbean and along the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. It originated from a well-defined tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa on August 28 and then became a tropical depression on September 1 about 775 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The depression quickly strengthened to a tropical storm later that day. Ike became a hurricane on September 3, and Ike reached an estimated peak intensity of 145 mph (Category 4) on September 4 when it was located 550 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands. After weakening briefly, Ike regained Category 4 status just before moving across the Turks and Caicos Islands on September 7. Ike then passed over Great Inagua Island in the southeastern Bahamas3 at Category 3 strength.


Ike's path of destruction

Ike's Radar Image

Ike turned westward and made landfall along the northeast coast of Cuba in the province of Holguin early on September 8 with maximum sustained winds estimated near 135 mph (Category 4). Ike made a second landfall in Cuba over the extreme southeastern part of the province of Pinar del Rio on September 9, with winds of 80 mph (Category 1). It moved into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico later that day.

Ike developed a large wind field as it moved northwestward across the Gulf of Mexico over the next 3 days, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 275 miles from the center and hurricane-force winds extending up to 115 miles from the center. The hurricane gradually intensified as it moved across the Gulf toward the Texas coast. Ike made landfall over the north end of Galveston Island in the early morning hours of September 13 as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph.

The hurricane weakened as it moved inland across eastern Texas and Arkansas and became extratropical over the middle Mississippi Valley on September 14. It then moved rapidly through the Ohio valley and into Canada, producing wind gusts to hurricane force along the way.

Ike left a long trail of death and destruction. It is estimated that flooding and mud slides killed 74 people in Haiti and 2 in the Dominican Republic, compounding the problems caused by Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. The Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas sustained widespread damage to property. Seven deaths were reported in Cuba. Ike's storm surge devastated the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas, and surge, winds, and flooding from heavy rains caused widespread damage in other portions of southeastern Texas, western Louisiana, and Arkansas. Twenty people were killed in these areas, with 34 others still missing. Property damage from Ike as a hurricane is estimated at $19.3 billion. Additionally, as an extratropical system over the Ohio valley, Ike was directly or indirectly responsible for 28 deaths and more than $1 billion in property damage.

Grand Turk Island reported sustained winds of 116 mph as the center of Ike crossed the island. Storm surges of 15-20 feet above normal tide levels occurred along the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas and in much of the Galveston Bay area, with surges of up to 10 feet above normal occurring as far east as south central Louisiana. Storm total rainfalls from Ike were as much as 19 inches in southeastern Texas and 14 inches in Cuba.

Ike's Track satellite