INUNDATION AND DESTRUCTION ON THE BOLIVAR PENINSULA DURING HURRICANE IKE

Andrew Kennedy, Matild Dosa, Franciso Zarama, Uriah Gravois, Brian Zachry, Spencer Rogers, Asbury Sallenger

Abstract


Hurricane Ike was one of the most destructive storms in US history, and caused catastrophic damage to the Bolivar Peninsula, Texas, with over 4.7m measured surge at the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. This surge began unusually early, reaching 2.5m at 25 hours before landfall while winds were both weak and shore-parallel. The strong forerunner surge resulted from Coriolis effects on the wind-driven alongshelf current, and occurred previously in the similarly destructive 1900 and 1915 Galveston Hurricanes. In onshore areas with strong wave action, damage was near-total to buildings whose flooring systems could be reached by wave crests, while slightly more elevated buildings survived almost unscathed. There was much less of a correlation between survival and elevation in areas with small waves.

Keywords


Hurricane Ike; storm surge; wave damage

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