A devastating month: September 2008
On September 1, Category 2 Hurricane Gustav blasted our southern coast, killing 138 people and causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. Just twelve days later, Category 2 Hurricane Ike, the third costliest U.S. hurricane and the most expensive in Texas history, killed 96 people and destroyed property to the tune of $27 billion.
Monolithic Domes not only survive but protect
On September 26, we contacted owners of Monolithic Dome homes and managers at commercial domes and asked how they fared and how Gustav and Ike affected them. None reported any significant damages. Here is a sampling of the comments we got:
- According to management at facilities on the badly battered Texas coast, neither Gustav nor Ike damaged their dome structures. These included: Two 130′ × 70′ ammonium nitrate bulk storages at the Port of Victoria, completed in 1999 for Equalizer. Two 150′ × 80′ cement storages at the Port of Houston, completed in 1996 for North Texas Cement Storage.
- Head Engineer John Marzullo at the ammonium nitrate dome storages, Alexandria (Louisiana) Regional Port Authority reported that their Monolithic Domes and conveyors “did great.” Gustav hit them with 60 mph winds and torrents of water. He added that they had just finished a conventional, 100,000-square-foot warehouse expansion that did suffer damage. Marzullo said that their future expansions will be Monolithic Domes.
- Mrs. Jarrod Bergeron of Abbeville, LA called Ike and Gustav “a unique experience.” She said that neither hurricane hit “too hard” there. They actually opened their hurricane-resistant windows and watched the storms.
- Robert Merritt of Sibley, LA had 14 relatives come up from Lake Charles and stay with him in his Monolithic Dome during the hurricanes.
- Andy Sisler of Slidell, LA described going through Gustav and Ike in his Monolithic Dome home “a piece of cake.” But some neighboring homes did not fare well at all; they ended up under water.
Evacuees from Houston find shelter at the Domes
Fearing Ike, on September 12 the Pedraza, Hernandez and Apaz families fled their Houston homes and sought shelter at our facility in Italy, TX. For these three families this flight from Ike seemed like a repeat performance. Three years ago they evacuated their homes and came to Italy because of Hurricane Rita.
Note: Cindy Sutherland, Wendy Frank and Renee Finley contributed to this article. – October 13, 2008