Flooding & Floodplains

As of 02/21/2018

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston Island at 2:10 a.m. Saturday, September 13, 2008 with 110 mph sustained winds, a strong Category 2. The landfall of Ike resulted in extensive storm surge flooding, wind damage and rainfall flooding across all of Harris and surrounding counties.

> Ike High Water Marks PDF
> Ike Storm Surge Inundation Map PDF
> NHC Hurricane Ike Report PDF
> USGS Hurricane Ike Report PDF
> Hurricane Ike Rainfall Report PDF

Before and After Hurricane Ike, Galveston Island.

Ike was the third tropical cyclone to strike the state of Texas during the 2008 hurricane season behind Category 2 Hurricane Dolly and Tropical Storm Edouard. 

After Hurricane Ike, Seabrook, 2008.

Storm Surge

  • Highest storm surge recorded on Galveston Island since 1915
  • 12-15 foot storm surge across Harris County
  • 15-17 foot storm surge across Bolivar Peninsula
  • 1.2 to 1.5 million residents evacuated from zip code evacuation zones prior to landfall
  • Storm surge levels averaged near the 1% (100-yr) levels for Harris County
  • Storm surge extended 15-18 miles inland over Chambers County
  • 2,550 homes flooded from storm surge in Harris County
  • Highest surge level in recorded history at Sabine Pass, Texas (14.24 feet)

Hurricane Ike, Downtown Houston, 2008.


  • 110 mph sustained winds at landfall; a strong Category 2 hurricane
  • Peak gusts of 82 mph at Houston Intercontinental Airport IAH and 92 mph at Hobby Airport
  • 8-11 hours of tropical storm force winds
  • 235,000 acres of timber damaged
  • 289.1 million cubic feet of timber damaged over 43 Texas counties
  • 2.9 million cubic feet of timber damaged in Harris County
  • 351 million dollars in damage to the timber industry

Hurricane Ike, Flooding at University of Houston Downtown, 2008.


  • 3rd costliest hurricane in U.S. history behind Hurricane Andrew (#2) and Hurricane Katrina (#1)
  • Estimated $27 billion in U.S. damages, including $15 billion in insured losses
  • 34 Texas counties declared federal disaster areas
  • 92,000 homes damaged in Harris County
  • 2,400 injuries in Harris County
  • 11 fatalities in Harris County
  • 7,100 businesses damaged in Harris County
  • 3,266 homes destroyed on Bolivar Peninsula
  • 24,165 structures damaged in Galveston County
  • 646 businesses damaged in Galveston County
  • 700 homes destroyed in Chambers County; 3,418 additional with major damage
  • 27,000 miles of wire down
  • 2,431 signals damaged in the City of Houston
  • 1,100,000 traffic signs damaged
  • Estimated 10 million cubic yards of debris in Harris County
  • First time curfew issued for the City of Houston
  • $428 million in damages to UTMB Galveston
  • $132 million in damages to transportation systems
  • 52 oil platforms destroyed
  • 60% of Galveston Bay oyster beds lost to storm surge sedimentation
  • FEMA estimate of 25 million yards of debris in all affected counties…enough to fill NRG stadium 7.5 times

After Hurricane Ike, Flooding in Willow Creek Watershed, 2008.


Two separate rainfall events:

  • First event during landfall resulted in 6-10 inches across Harris County
  • Secondary event early September 14th resulted in 3-8 inches across the northwest part of Harris County
  • Major flooding along Hunting, Little White Oak, Halls, lower White Oak, and lower Brays Bayous
  • Widespread severe street flooding during second event partly from hurricane debris-clogged drains
  • 1,300 homes flooded from rainfall
  • Highest 1-hour rainfall rate: 4.1 inches on Greens Bayou at U.S. 59
  • Highest 3-hour rainfall rate: 7.7 inches on White Oak Bayou at Ella Blvd
  • Highest 6-hour rainfall rate: 10.1 inches on Buffalo Bayou at Turning Basin
  • Highest 12-hour rainfall rate: 12.7 inches on Spring Creek at FM 2978
  • 2-day total of 18.9 inches on Spring Creek at FM 2978
  • Rainfall averaged between a 10% (10-yr) and 1% (100-yr) frequency

Hurricane Ike, Spaghetti Warehouse in Downtown Houston, 2008.


  • 2.2 million CenterPoint customers without power; 75% of power restored by day 10
  • 12,000 mutual aid workers (5,000 tree trimmers and 7,000 linemen) from 70 companies in 30 states
  • Federal and state assistance $1.8 billion, including:
  • $444 million for housing
  • $476 million for low interest disaster loans
  • $308 million in public assistance
  • 2,617 mobile homes provided
  • 20 million cubic yards of debris cleared
  • 4,400 Red Cross workers deployed
  • 280 shelters established, housing 182,000 residents
  • 8 million meals and snacks severed by the Red Cross
  • 44 Points of Distribution established over 8 days
  • 1,125,750 gallons of water distributed
  • 10,490,000 pounds of ice distributed
  • 2,810,412 MREs distributed
  • Medical Reserve Corps volunteers delivered 81,410 meals to homebound individuals 

Be Prepared - We Haven’t Seen The Last "Hurricane Ike"

Hurricane Ike was yet another reminder of how vulnerable our region is to tropical weather. It was costly in ways immeasurable, but also served as a reminder of how quickly the people in our area are ready to help one another. It is not the last devastating tropical cyclone we will see around here nor the worst case scenario for Harris County. Be prepared... for the next one.