Ike May Completely Flood Galveston Island
Even though Hurricane Ike has not officially yet made landfall, much of Galveston Island is under water, and weather service officials say it will only get worse.
During a late afternoon press conference, Gene Hafele with the National Weather Service said most, if not all, of Galveston will be flooded as the storm reaches its peak.
“A large part of the city will be under water,” Hafele said. “All of the west end of the island is probably already under water.”
He said a few high spots in the city may escape flooding, but most of Galveston will be impassable.
“In some cases, the water may only be a few inches deep but it will cover most of the island,” Hefele said.
As of 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, the downtown Strand area was flooded, numerous city streets were impassable and waves were overtopping the Galveston Seawall, which was covered with debris.
Flooded streets were also keeping firefighters from reaching the scene of two fires. A large Victorian-style home near the intersection of Post Office and 19th streets was reportedly ablaze and a boat was on fire in the Galveston Yacht Basin. The boat fire was casting large plumes of black smoke across the eastern part of the city.
Earlier in the day, a home on the flooded west end of Galveston Island also burned.