GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Friday marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Ike, which tore apart Galveston and other nearby beachfront communities in Southeast Texas.
On Sept. 13, 2008, a storm surge as high as 20 feet and winds of up to 110 mph left 80 percent of Galveston's homes in ruins or badly damaged. The streets were underwater in the island city's historic downtown district. The surging Gulf of Mexico swept whole beachfront communities from the nearby Bolivar Peninsula.
Five years after Ike, tourism to the island and economic development are at levels higher than before the storm. Beaches have been replenished and homes, businesses and other structures have been repaired.
Reconstruction is ongoing, though, and Galveston's population is still nearly 11,000 less than before the storm.