Reveal – Update: Mighty Ike

As the country enters the peak of storm season this summer, we want to return to an issue we first talked about earlier this year.

What would happen if a major hurricane hit Texas? The state is home to the Houston Ship Channel, one of the world’s busiest maritime waterways. And along the Ship Channel are refineries and chemical plants that make up the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex. It’s a pretty major economic hub.

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 revisit a story with The Texas Tribune and ProPublica that takes a look at what would happen if a worst-case storm hit the region in the not-so-distant future – a storm that scientists have dubbed “Mighty Ike.”

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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.

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




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