Memories of Hurricane Ike on 10th anniversary of historic storm

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HOUSTON – Thursday marks 10 years since Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston with winds of near 110 mph.

The storm decimated Bolivar Peninsula with the 12-14 feet of surge that was pushed ashore. The tide rose as high as 21 feet at Eagle’s Pass in Galveston Bay. Eighty percent of homes on the Peninsula were destroyed.

All told, Ike killed 214 people as it tracked across the Bahamas, Cuba and the U.S. The storm caused a total of $38 billion in damage, making it the sixth-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

PHOTOS: Remembering Hurricane Ike

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Below are memories of the storm from some of the KPRC2 team that covered the devastation. These interviews were recorded in 2013 to mark the five-year anniversary.

Frank Billingsley

“I remember, Bolivar, we knew, was decimated. We had heard that there was very little left on Bolivar.”

Bill Balleza

“I thought, ‘This just can’t happen,’ and then it did.”

Dominique Sachse

“I feel that where our community really shows its colors is in the aftermath of a storm.”

Phil Archer

“Nobody could really see what kind of damage it was doing, but you could get a sense of it. You could feel it.”

Andy Cerota

“It was exhilarating. It was terrifying. It was a mix of so many emotions rolled up into one.”

Rachel McNeill

“I experienced the storm like a civilian, is what I like to say.”

Joel Eisenbaum

“We just wanted a dry place to stay just like everybody else that was down there.”

Robert Arnold

“It was largely a ghost town. We saw huge piles of debris.”

About the Author:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.