Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike (pronounced ) was an intense and destructive tropical cyclone that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and Northern America in September 2008. Owing to its intense nature and at times abnormally large size, Ike wrought havoc to infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas, locations where Ike remains the costliest tropical cyclone on record. Other locations also suffered lesser but nonetheless significant effects from Ike. The hurricane’s accrued damage toll is the third costliest of any Atlantic hurricane at $25 Billion, unadjusted for inflation. Ike developed from a tropical wave west of Cape Verde on September 1, and quickly strengthened to a peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane over the open waters of the central Atlantic on September 4 as it tracked westward. Several fluctuations in strength occurred before Ike made landfall on eastern Cuba on September 8. The hurricane weakened prior to continuing into the Gulf of Mexico, restrengthening up until a final landfall on Galveston, Texas on September 13. The remnants of Ike continued to track across the United States and into Canada, causing considerable damage inland, before dissipating two days later. Ike was blamed for at least 195 deaths. Of these, 74 were in Haiti, which was already trying to recover from the impact of three storms earlier that year: Fay, Gustav, and Hanna. In the United States, 112 people were killed and 23 are still missing. Due to its immense size, Ike caused devastation from the Louisiana coastline all the way to the Kenedy County region near Corpus Christi, Texas. In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the Mississippi coastline and the Florida Panhandle Damages from Ike in U.S. coastal and inland areas are estimated at $29.5 billion (2008 USD), with additional damage of $7.3 billion in Cuba (the costliest storm ever in that country), $200 million in the Bahamas, and $500 million in the Turks and Caicos, amounting to a total of at least $37.5 billion in damage. Ike was (at the time) the second costliest Atlantic hurricane of all time (now the third costliest), only surpassed by Hurricane Katrina of 2005 and later by Hurricane Sandy of 2012. It became the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history. Hurricane Rita still holds the designation as the largest U.S. evacuation in history. At one point, Ike was over 600 miles in diameter. Prior to Hurricane Irene in 2011 Ike was the last hurricane to make landfall in the United States since 2008. It was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season.

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