Houstonians and other Gulf Coast Texans are either evacuating or preparing for the storm of a lifetime as Hurricane Ike hurtles towards the Texas coast line.This is the second time this month we'll be keeping the Gulf Coast in our thoughts and prayers, and hope you'll do the same. (Like he did for Gustav, Rick Noriega has created a handy resource site for those affected by Hurricane Ike.)
A massive Hurricane Ike sent white waves crashing over a seawall and tossed a disabled 584-foot freighter in rough water as it steamed toward Texas Friday, threatening to devastate coastal towns and batter America's fourth-largest city.
Ike's eye was forecast to strike somewhere near Galveston late Friday or early Saturday then head inland for Houston, but the sprawling weather system nearly as big as Texas was already buffeting the Gulf Coast and causing flooding in areas still recovering from Labor Day's Hurricane Gustav.
Because of its ominous size, storm surge and flooding were the greatest threats. In unusually strong language, forecasters even warned of "certain death" for stalwarts who insisted on staying in Galveston; most had complied, along with hundreds of thousands of fellow Texans in counties up and down the coastline. But in a move designed to avoid highway gridlock as the storm closed in, most of Houston's 2 million residents hunkered down and were ordered not to leave.