Hurricane Ike: Then and Now in Photos

Categories: Hurricanes

ike-main.jpg
Photos by Daniel Kramer.
Today is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Ike. When it swept through Houston in 2008 -- and was subsequently swept under the rug by national media thanks to a collapsing economy -- it packed much more punch than anyone expected. A massive storm that, at one point, filled almost the entire Gulf of Mexico, Ike was, by traditional measures, weaker than 1993's Hurricane Alicia but no less devastating. It confounded forecasters and helped to redefine the standard Saffir-Simpson scale for ranking hurricanes.

Houston Press photographer Daniel Kramer shot some amazing photos from Houston to Galveston in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, showcasing the devastation from boats in the middle of the street to dozens of flooded roads and highways; from downtown streets lined with shards of glass from blown out skyscraper windows to mounds of detritus washed ashore during the storm.

"I remember it so well," Kramer said. "It was exhausting but exhilarating week. I hated coming back in."

Despite all the deaths caused by the storm and the massive destruction, Kramer never saw a dead body and only one dead cow because he was not allowed onto Bolivar. He did, however, find that coastal residents had not lost their sense of humor.

"The people on High Island had erected a giant sign that said, 'Shit Happens' and had then set a half a dozen toilets below the sign," he said.

Recently, Kramer went back to the scene of these photographs, shooting the same spots he did in 2008, but this time with startlingly different results. Gone are the floodwaters that swirled around the streets near the Wortham Center that have long since receded and the piles of wood and boats lining Nasa Road One near Kemah have been cleaned up and returned to normal.

"In the 12 photos I shot five years later, only one - the shot of downtown Houston - seemed unchanged," Kramer explained. "In all the others, buildings were gone or substantially remodeled, Kemah rides were gone, everything was different."

The photos serve as a reminder of the life we've chosen, so close to the beauty of the ocean but also within reach of Mother Nature's fury. But, it also illustrates how resilient we can be.

"In New Orleans, you can still see Hurricane Katrina's high water mark," he continued. "With Ike, it's almost like it never happened."

Continue clicking to see Kramer's amazing series of then and now Ike photos.

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Michael Terry
Michael Terry

Some great pictures! Did ya get any of Texas city dike?

Matt McWhirter
Matt McWhirter

I thought storm sewers and sanitary sewers were separate.

Linda Hardy
Linda Hardy

Fun, once in a life time event hopefully. Swimming in sewage water with pesticides, oil and gas is for the hard core for sure.

Tonya Boyette
Tonya Boyette

Lol made the best of it Lisa Sowle-Herbagirl!!:;)

Tonya Boyette
Tonya Boyette

Lol well me and the Sowle family sure mafmadee the best of it!! Love yall Lisa Sowle-Herbagirl

Ken Clary
Ken Clary

How many times did I encounter flooded roads in Houston? Several times a year. Does Richmond Avenue still flood around the HISD building?

Greg Mann
Greg Mann

great stuff. its inspired me into doing that with some of my shots.

freenyona
freenyona

Hurricane Alicia was 1983, not 1993... I know because I was punching my mom in the vagina, begging to escape into the world while the storm was raging over Clear Lake.

Now Trending

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...