It’s just over ten years to the day since Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston, Texas. Looking back at the 2008 North Atlantic hurricane season’s activity, it was above-average with 16 named storms, eight of which reached hurricane strength, and five became major hurricanes (Cat 3 or greater). Hurricane Ike did reach Category 4 over the warm waters of the open Atlantic, but later weakened as it tracked along the Cuban coastline, never to fully regain its strength. At around 0710 UTC on Saturday, September 13, 2008, Ike struck the Texas coastline as a strong Category 2 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), producing maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kilometers per hour).
It was by far the costliest event of that year, and today remains firmly in the top ten of most costly U.S. hurricanes. At the time, RMS loss estimates were in the range of US$13 to US$21 billion, excluding NFIP (flood) losses. Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths, as it ravaged the Bahamas, Haiti, Cuba, and onward to the U.S. Ike did not make the history books for its wind speeds, it did not have the destructive wind intensity of more recent events such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria. It was the sheer geographic extent and inland penetration of Ike that makes it stand apart from most other hurricanes.