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GALVESTON, Texas – On September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike made landfall near Galveston as a Category 2. According to the National Weather Service, sustained winds ranged from 95-105 miles per hour. While the storm was only a Cat 2, the storm surge was catastrophic, inundating communities from the Bolivar Peninsula to Galveston Island.
Georgia and Oscar Barbin remember Ike quite well. They chose to stay in Galveston when Ike’s eye crossed over.
“That was the freaky part,” said Oscar. “When you walked outside when the eye came over, everything was so nice and peaceful and you thought, ‘oh thank goodness that it’s gone’ you know, and then suddenly it started coming back.”
And back it came with a vengeance. Ike was costly, over $30 billion in damages, and deadly, killing more than 100 people in the U.S. alone.
“It feels like yesterday, all this feels like yesterday,” said Leslie LeCornu, who is part owner of The Admiralty located on The Historic Strand. LeCornu runs the store along with her sister, Wendy Morgan, and mother.
“Harvey was clean water, Ike was not,” said LeCornu as she flipped through a picture book full of Ike memories. “Ike was terrible.”
Eva Arita also rode out the storm. She had just started working at La King’s Confectionary before Ike hit. La King’s is located just a couple of blocks down from The Admiralty.
“It was nuts because we lost a lot but then this island really, whatever we had, it really came together and kind of helped us because I don’t know how we would’ve done it without, you know,” said Arita.
The recovery took months, not just for the business, but for Arita’s family, too. She remembers living off a generator for seven months.
“I remember hearing that generator for seven months,” she said.
Now for LeCornu and Morgan, they, too, spent those months recovering to open back up, but talking too much about a storm or seeing too much rain over a short period of time can sometimes overwhelm these sisters.
“Ala lala lala don’t wanna talk about it,” said LeCornu. “It’s terrible. It’s not something you want to relive and I think if we had a hurricane like Ike again I think I might reconsider things.”