Public health consequences of the 2008 Hurricane Ike windstorm in Ohio, USA

Abstract

Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, Texas, on 13 September 2008, and transitioned to an extra-tropical cyclone on 14 September as it moved across Ohio with wind gusts of 28–35 ms−1. This was the second most disruptive statewide windstorm in Ohio since 1913, and it caused the largest electrical failure in Ohio history, with 2 million customers without power. Private insured losses of $1.1 billion were the largest for a natural disaster in Ohio since 1974. There were seven deaths caused by the storm and 603 injuries. The American Red Cross opened 25 shelters and 86 feeding stations. Hospitals and public water supply systems used backup generators to maintain operations. Public health consequences of the storm were minimized by good preplanning and preparedness at the local level, by moderate temperatures during the massive power failure, and the response of governments, the American Red Cross, charitable and service organizations, and private citizens.

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Acknowledgments

Appreciation for information and data is extended to Kay Phillips from the Disaster Recovery Branch of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency; Katie Simon of Hamilton County Public Health; Kathleen Cowen and Ben DeJesus from the Office of Assessment and Surveillance at Columbus Public Health; James Kosarik of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Cleveland, and Mary Jo Parker of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, OH.

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Correspondence to Thomas W. Schmidlin.

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Schmidlin, T.W. Public health consequences of the 2008 Hurricane Ike windstorm in Ohio, USA. Nat Hazards 58, 235–249 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-010-9663-x

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Keywords

  • Windstorm
  • Tropical cyclone
  • Ohio
  • Public health
  • Power failure