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


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.


Hurricane Ike; storm surge; wave damage

Full Text:



Berg, R. (2009). Tropical Cyclone Report. Hurricane Ike. National Hurricane Center Report TCRAL092008, 51 pp.

East, J.W., Turco, M.J., and Mason Jr., R.R. (2008). Monitoring Inland Storm Surge and Flooding from Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana, September, 2008. USGS Open File Report 2008-1365,

Garriott, E.B., (1900). "West Indian hurricane of September 1-12, 1900". Mon. Wea. Rev. 43, 405-410.

Kennedy, A.B., Gravois, U., Zachry, B., Luettich, R., Whipple, T. Weaver, R., Reynolds-Fleming, J. Chen, Q., and Avissar, R. (2010a). "Rapidly installed temporary gauging for waves and surge, and application to Hurricane Gustav", Continental Shelf Research, in press, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2010.07.013.

Kennedy, A.B., Rogers, S., Sallenger, A., Gravois, U., Zachry, B., Dosa, M., and Zarama, F. (2010b). "Building Destruction from Waves and Surge on the Bolivar Peninsula during Hurricane Ike," J. Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Eng.-ASCE, in press, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WW.1943-5460.0000061.

Kennedy, A.B., Gravois, U., Zachry, B.C., Westerink, J.J., Hope, M.E., Dietrich, J.C., Powell, M.D., Cox, A.T., Luettich, R.L., and Dean, R.G. (2011). "Hurricane Ike Forerunner Surge: Origin and Implications", Submitted to Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 06/10.

Kraus, N.C., and Lin L. (2009). "Hurricane Ike along the upper Texas Coast: an introduction". Shore and Beach 77, 3-8.

Powell, M.D., Houston, S.H., Amat, L.R., and Morriseau-Leroy, N. (1998). "The HRD real-time hurricane wind analysis system". J. Wind Engineer. Indust. Aerodyn. 77&78, 53-64.

Resio, D.T. and Westerink, J.J. (2008). "Hurricanes and the Physics of Surges", Physics Today, 61, 33-38.