Based on the projected path of Hurricane Ike, the U.S. Census Bureau today calculated that an estimated 13 million people in 132 counties along the Gulf Coast of the United States could face hurricane and tropical storm conditions.
According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory (7 a.m. EDT) Hurricane Ike is projected to make landfall near Galveston, Texas, sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Ike is projected to continue onward into Houston, which is located in Harris County. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches are in effect from Willacy County, Texas to Mobile County, Ala.
A storm warning means that either tropical storm or hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.
According to the Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey, the median housing value for Galveston County is $133,800 and Harris County is $126,000. Additionally, 6.2 percent of the 104,901 million occupied homes are without access to a vehicle in Galveston, and 7.5 percent of the 1.3 million occupied homes are without access to a vehicle in Harris County. About 71 percent of the occupied homes were built before 1990 in Galveston and 72 percent in Harris.
The 2007 median household income in Galveston was about $52,277, and about 12.2 percent of the population lived in poverty. The median household income in Harris was $49,936 and about 16.4 percent lived in poverty.
According to the Census Bureau’s 2006 County Business Patterns, there are 5,114 businesses in Galveston County with paid employees, employing 71,735 workers with about $2.3 billion in total annual payroll. Healthcare (13,372), accommodations and food (12,652) and retail trade (11,236) employed 52 percent of all workers in Galveston. There are 89,291 businesses in Harris County with paid employees, employing 1.7 million workers with about $87 billion in total annual payroll. Retail trade (183,231) and health care and social assistance (189,595) are the two largest employers, making up 22 percent of the county’s employees.
As the 2008 hurricane season progresses, the Census Bureau will continue to post information on its Hurricane Data and Emergency Preparedness Web page at <http://www.census.gov/newsroom/emergencies/>.