Texas Tech University

Experts Available to Discuss Hurricane Lane

Amanda Bowman

August 22, 2018

The hurricane is rapidly heading toward Hawaii, which has only had two hurricanes make landfall since 1959.


Residents of Hawaii are bracing themselves for Hurricane Lane, currently a Category 4 storm. According to Live Science, this is a rare occurrence for the Big Island because it's such a small island in the middle of an enormous Pacific Ocean. In fact, only two tropical storms and two hurricanes have made landfall on Hawaii since 1959. Experts from Texas Tech University are available to discuss the situation.

Texas Tech is home to the National Wind Institute (NWI), which leads the nation in wind research, and has a number of researchers with extensive experience researching hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, Rita, Katrina and Ike who can speak as experts about various aspects of these devastating storms.


National Storm Shelter Association – Ernst Kiesling, research professor and executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association, (806) 834-1931 or ernst.kiesling@ttu.edu

  • Kiesling can discuss the construction and use of residential and community shelters. He has more than 50 years of experience in the field documenting storm damage, writing performance standards for safe rooms and verifying compliance of safe rooms with those standards.

Debris impact – Larry Tanner, research assistant professor and manager of the NWI Debris Impact Facility, (806) 834-2320 or larry.tanner@ttu.edu

  • Tanner completed a six-month investigation working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation assessment team on the wind damage to residential structures from Hurricane Ike in Texas and Louisiana. He also was a member of the FEMA mitigation assessment team that studied Hurricane Katrina. He led a team that recorded wind and water damage along the coastline in Louisiana and Mississippi. Much of the damage done by Katrina, he said, resulted from structures being built below base flood elevation, or the elevation that flood waters will rise to during a 100-year storm event (meaning the storm only has a 1 percent chance of happening in a year).

Economic impact of hurricanes – Bradley Ewing, C.T. McLaughlin chair of free enterprise and professor of energy commerce in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, (806) 834-3939 or bradley.ewing@ttu.edu

  • Ewing has studied the economic impact of hurricanes and tornadoes for more than a decade. He can speak to the impact of hurricanes and tornadoes in cities like Oklahoma City; Corpus Christi; Wilmington, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.