According to The Weather Channel, Houston has made their TOP 10 list of cities most vulnerable and due for a major hurricane strike. With Category 3 hurricanes and larger, cities like Houston all but shut down while suffering major monetary issues including extreme property damage to personal property as well as commercial and corporate property.
Houston is the largest city that made the list from the Weather Channel. As one of the ten largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., Houston is the fastest growing city with an exploding population of over 2.4 million people from all walks of life. With its location so close to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is extremely vulnerable to hurricanes. Numbers posted on the list for Houston are as follows:
- Population (Census 2010) – 2.1 million
- Evacuation Time (if Cat. 5 hit) – 37 hours
- Storm Surge Losses (per capita) – $3,194
- Years Overdue – 29
Our minds usually contemplate hurricanes only when one is out there churning over open water. Even though Katrina, Rita and Ike are still fresh on our minds, the last major hurricane to hit Houston was Hurricane Alicia in 1983. At that time, Houston had no Toyota Center as the Summit was where the Rockets played (it’s now owned by Lakewood Church). Reliant Stadium was not built (built in 2002) and the Astrodome was still being used for pro-football games. If you were not in Houston for Hurricane Alicia, and think Ike was bad, think again. Alicia took direct aim at Houston and Galveston struck 20 miles southwest of Galveston as a Category 3 hurricane. With constant winds in excess of 100 miles per hour, she caused $2.6 billion (1983 USD; $5.99 billion 2013 USD) in property damage and killed 21 people; these numbers made it the worst Texas hurricane since Hurricane Carla in 1961. In addition, Alicia was the first billion-dollar tropical cyclone in Texas history.
Since 1983, Houston has experienced a growth in population of over 70%. Hurricane Ike also hit the same area with a huge punch. As a large, strong Category 2 hurricane in 2008, Ike brought a storm surge similar to a Category 4 storm to Bolivar Peninsula and the surrounding area. However, the worst of the storm surge did not hit Houston, saving this low lying city from extreme weather-related damage.