WEBSTER As bad as Hurricane Ike was, hurricane expert Bill Read believes it could have been worse. Much worse.
He told the local chapter of the American Meteorology Society last week that if Ike had wobbled just a short jog to the south, making landfall at San Luis Pass, it would then have inundated Clear Lake and the ship channel industries with as much as two stories of storm surge and rainwater.
Supercomputer simulations show that shift would have put an additional 170,000 residences, all of NASA s Johnson Space Center and most of the area s petrochemical plants underwater. Instead, that particular portion of Ike s destructive surge actually was directed east into wetlands and wilderness areas.
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