Storm surge, a rise in water level that accompanies a land falling hurricane, is the most deadly part of the storm. Ike had been a Cat 4 hurricane in the Atlantic, before hitting Cuba on it's way into the Gulf of Mexico. That weakened the storms winds to Cat 2. Although the winds had weakened, they had also spread out over a larger area, allowing the storm to continue to build a surge as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico that would rival a strong Cat 4 hurricane at landfall.
The storms center moved inland right over Galveston Bay in the early morning hours of September 13, 2008, placing the Bolivar Peninsula on the 'dirty' or strong side of the storm. They took the full force of Ike's storm surge waters. The surge across Bolivar was between 12' and 18'. The before picture above...
...and the aftermath stands to remind us of how vulnerable our coastline is to a hurricane, and why we take take the season from June 1st to Nov 30th so very seriously.
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