Galveston airport demolished by Hurricane Ike

September 17, 2008

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Photos: George Gould

Scholes International At Galveston Airport bore the brunt of Hurricane Ike on Sept. 12. The airport, with an elevation of only 6 feet, was hit with a 16-foot storm surge. Even though the airport and Galveston Island remained closed early this week, AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer George Gould was able to make it back to survey the damage.

“My hangar is in the Gulf of Mexico somewhere,” Gould wrote in his short note to AOPA. But Gould didn’t need to write much. His photos show the extent of the damage done to the airport.

AOPA received a report by Galveston Airport Manager Hud Hopkins, stating that the airport staff was OK, but the terminal building was flooded.

The Lone Star Flight Museum was severely damaged, including many historic airplanes inside. The museum had seven to eight feet of water in its hangars and three to four feet in the gift shop. However, museum pilots were able to evacuate 10 World War II-era fighters, bombers, and transport planes prior to Ike hitting the Gulf Coast. Its North American B-25N and Boeing B-17G are going to a Commemorative Air Force headquarters at Midland, Texas, for a long-term stay.

More than 170 fixed-wing aircraft and 50 helicopters were based at the airport, according to the FAA’s Airport Master Records and Reports.