Exactly eight years ago, Hurricane Ike roared into Galveston Bay.
There was a memorable image from the Bolivar Peninsula of a lone house that stood amid the rubble on Gilchrist Beach.
Eight years later, the homeowner still calls the place home.
"We barely made it off," said Warren Adams. "As a matter of fact, 30 minutes later we would've been caught. I don't think I realized the extent of the storm because I had gone through some storms on the east coast."
When Adams returned after the storm, he realized Ike's fury: one that nearly leveled every house in the Gilchrist area of the Bolivar Peninsula—except his.
WATCH: Hurricane Ike: 8 years later
Adams had just moved from North Carolina two years prior.
"It was unreal, like somebody had dropped a bomb on the area," Adams said. "My house survived but would I have? I would've probably had a heart attack sooner."
Ike was the first hurricane to hit the Houston area since Alicia in 1983. At one point, it took up more than half of the size of the Gulf of Mexico.
While the storm was only classified as a Category 2 hurricane, it had a storm surge of a Category 4 hurricane, which decimated the area around Adams.
"My whole front street, the road was seven foot deep—gone, washed out—and the same thing happened to the rear of my house."
That house is rebuilt with a bigger deck and a few other necessary features to keep him and his wife safe. There's also the restaurant he's opened since then, called the Fantasea BBQ & Grill, that sits across from his now legendary house.
"She loves the beach, she loves the water, she loves being near the water, it's always been her dream to be there," Adams said of his wife.
Now he's battling to recover from open heart surgery at the VA hospital in Houston. In all, he says he's learned a thing or two.
"When you news guys say evacuate, evacuate and don't wait around. Don't wait around like I did. We almost didn't make it."