Hurricane Ike devastated parts of the Texas southeast coast from Galveston to the Texas/Louisiana border. The house above appears as the only house standing in aerial shots of Gilchrist, Texas which was destroyed by the surge from Hurricane Ike.
The lone house did sustain damage as you can see on the before and after pictures here on Anderson Cooper's blog. The house also sustained water damage but even so it clearly fared much better than the houses around it. A CNN story says $300,000 was spent on the house so that it could survive a powerful hurricane. The main feature appears to be very high columns to the get the house's bottom floor well above sea level.
Adams, a retired electrical designer, had a Galveston, Texas, engineering firm oversee a contractor as his new house was built.An article here says the house was designed to survive a Cat 5 Hurricane. Hurricane Ike came in as nearly a Category 3 storm but because of Ike's massive size it carried an abnormally large surge with it. More discussion of this house can be found at Current.com, Zillow Blog and Dvorak Uncensored.
The columns put the house's bottom floor 14 feet above ground, or about 22 feet above sea level. Despite that, Ike's storm surge managed to get in.
"Can we always beat Mother Nature? No," Adams said. "Mother Nature can be much stronger."
Adams said roughly $300,000 was spent on the house -- the original house payment was $180,000, then he did add-ons/improvements totaling $115,000. And yes, they are insured.
In addition to the Hurricane Ike reports on iReport.com you can also keep up with the aftermath of the storm on Chron.com, KHOU and Galveston Daily News.
(via iReport Blog)