8 years ago, Hurricane Ike powered through the United States


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COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — Damaging winds, days without power, hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Remember Hurricane Ike?

Eight years ago today, the category two hurricane made landfall near Houston. Just 24 hours later, central Ohio began feeling the effects.

Ike moved inland after making landfall at 3:10am EDT near Galveston, Texas. Ike was a category 2 hurricane at landfall with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. The storm, nearly as big as Texas itself, blasted a 500-mile stretch of coastline in Louisiana and Texas. It breached levees, flooded roads and led more than 1 million people to evacuate and seek shelter inland.

“Every storm’s unique, but this one certainly will be remembered for its size,” said Benton McGee, supervisory hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s storm surge center in Ruston, La.

Entire neighborhoods were destroyed by battering waves riding on top of a 5 meter storm surge. Two days after the storm, the floodwaters were still present, held in place by what remained of the beaches that acted like levees containing the water.

Ike then continued its rampage on the United States when it combined with another weather system over the Midwest. This re-energized the storm and sent powerful winds into the Buckeye State.

Those winds gusts measured more than 75mph in Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati. More than 2.5 million Ohioans lost power as trees fell on lines during Ike’s fury. More than 350,000 of those power outages were right here in Columbus homes. Many of those homes were without electricity for a week, and most schools across Central Ohio were shut down.

Hurricane Ike is the 3rd costliest hurricane in US history. All told, Ike caused more than $13 billion in damages.

In Ohio, the storm caused more than $500 million in destruction to property and crops. One-fifth of the state’s corn crop was lost during Ike. Governor Ted Strickland declared a state of emergency after the storm and Ohioans submitted more than 100,000 insurance claims.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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