01 September 13, 2008 - A worker inspects damage in front of the JPMorgan Chase Tower in downtown Houston, Texas, after powerful Hurricane Ike slammed into the Gulf Coast, shredding buildings, flooding streets, and knocking out power for millions of people. With winds reaching 110 miles (177 kilometers) an hour, Ike came ashore over Galveston, Texas, as a strong Category 2 storm just after 3 a.m. EST. The massive storm, nearly as big as Texas itself, moved over Houston before dawn, blowing out windows and scattering documents from skyscrapers such as the 75-story Chase Tower, the state's tallest building.
According to the Associated Press, Ike is the first hurricane since Alicia in 1983 to land a direct hit on Houston. —Photograph by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
As of 2 p.m. EST, many roads were still impassable, and it remained unclear how many people might have died or been injured in Ike's wake. —Photograph by Frank Franklin II/AP
Despite strong warnings from government officials, more than ten thousand people chose to stay in coastal areas as Ike approached. "We'll probably do the largest search-and-rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," Andrew Barlow, spokesperson for Texas Governor Rick Perry, told the Associated Press. —Photograph by Matt Slocum/AP
Ike moved north and dropped to a Category 1 storm late Saturday afternoon.
The hurricane is expected to eventually turn toward Arkansas and weaken to a tropical storm. —Photograph by David J. Phillip/AP