Reveal: Mighty Ike

Texas is home to the Houston Ship Channel, one of the world’s busiest maritime waterways. Also in Houston, and along the channel, are oil refineries and chemical plants that make up the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex. It’s a major economic hub.

But what would happen to the area if a major hurricane hit?

In 2008, Hurricane Ike swept through Texas and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. But it could have been much worse. The storm turned at the last minute and didn’t hit Houston head on. So imagine if Ike happened again, but with slightly higher winds, and this time, the storm headed straight toward Houston. According to scientists, this is more of a question of “when” than “if.”

In this hour of Reveal, we work with The Texas Tribune and ProPublica to take a look at what would happen if a worst-case storm hit the region in the not-so-distant future – a storm dubbed “Mighty Ike” that scientists say is coming.

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Reveal is a weekly radio program produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. For more, check out our website and subscribe to our podcast.

Top Image:  What would happen if (or when) a major hurricane hits the Houston Ship Channel? CREDIT: Anna Vignet for Reveal

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