GALVESTON -

The 5th anniversary has arrived of the most recent occasion of which a hurricane tore apart Galveston and other nearby beachfront communities.

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, and 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 as beaches have been replenished and homes, businesses and other structures have been repaired.

Reconstruction is still ongoing, though, and Galveston's population is still nearly 11,000 less than five years ago Wednesday.