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Hurricane Ike Pictures


Before and after pictures of destruction on the Bolivar Peninsula


Photographs and captions by the United States Geological Survey.

Hurricane Ike started as a tropical disturbance off the west coast of Africa in late August, 2008. On September 1 it became a tropical storm near the Cape Verde Islands. It gained strength quickly and was a Category 4 hurricane on September 4. It was the ninth named storm and fifth hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

Ike was a storm with an enormous geographic extent. At its largest extent it was producing hurricane-strength winds in a 190-mile diameter around the eye and tropical-storm-strength winds in a 450-mile diameter around the eye.

Hurricane Ike made landfall between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula in the early morning of September 13th as a Category 2 hurricane. In the days prior to Ike's arrival, emergency messages urged people to evacuate the coastal areas and offshore islands saying that they may "face certain death" from the wind or storm surge.

The storm surge swept over the Island and Bolivar Peninsula. Homes and other buildings were pounded by waves and swept away by the surge. In many areas entire neighborhoods were swept completely off the land. The photos by USGS below document the damage.



Location 1: Oblique aerial photography of Bolivar Peninsula, TX, on September 9, 2008 (top) and September 15, 2008, two days after landfall of Hurricane Ike (bottom). Yellow arrows mark features that appear in each image. In addition to the loss of houses, the evidence of inundation here includes eroded dune face and sand deposited well inland of the shoreline.




Location 2: Oblique aerial photography of Bolivar Peninsula, TX, on September 9, 2008 (top) and September 15, 2008, two days after landfall of Hurricane Ike (bottom). Yellow arrows mark features that appear in each image. In addition to the loss of houses, the evidence of inundation here includes eroded dune face and sand deposited well inland of the shoreline.




Location 3: Oblique aerial photography of Bolivar Peninsula, TX, on September 9, 2008 (top) and September 15, 2008, two days after landfall of Hurricane Ike (bottom). Yellow arrows mark features that appear in each image. In addition to the loss of houses, the evidence of inundation here includes eroded dune face and sand deposited well inland of the shoreline.




Location 4: Oblique aerial photography of Bolivar Peninsula, TX, on September 9, 2008 (top) and September 15, 2008, two days after landfall of Hurricane Ike (bottom). Yellow arrows mark features that appear in each image. In addition to the loss of houses, the evidence of inundation here includes eroded dune face and sand deposited well inland of the shoreline.


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