Rice-based SSPEED Center Wins $1.25 Million For Ike Study
Armed with a new $1.25 million two-year grant from Houston Endowment, researchers at the Rice University-based center for Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters are tackling a big question posed by 2008’s Hurricane Ike: What would have happened had the storm not weakened and turned its full fury away from Houston and toward the less populated side of Galveston Bay?
With an estimated price tag around $30 billion, Hurricane Ike ranks as the third-costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Yet Ike delivered only a glancing blow to Houston, and it was just a Category 2 hurricane when it made landfall.
For researchers at the Rice-based SSPEED, the big question is, What would have happened had Ike not weakened and turned its full fury toward Bolivar Peninsula at the last minute?
“If you project the devastation at Bolivar taking place around NASA and the Clear Lake area instead, you can very quickly imagine a storm that’s more costly and deadly than even Katrina,” said SSPEED Director Phil Bedient, Rice’s Herman Brown Professor of Engineering.