Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Texas girds for the worst as deadly Ike closes in

Ike strengthens to category two hurricane
Hurricane Ike strengthened to a powerful category two storm Wednesday as it churned through the Gulf of Mexico toward the US state of Texas, officials at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said. Weather officials said Ike had maximum sustained winds of about 100 miles per hours and could strike land early Saturday north of Corpus Christie, Texas. President George W. Bush declared an emergency in Texas Wednesday and state authorities began ordering evacuations from coastal areas.
by Staff Writers
Houston, Texas (AFP) Sept 10, 2008
Texas authorities ordered coastal evacuations Wednesday as deadly Hurricane Ike strengthened to a Category Two storm in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward the southern US coast after ravaging Cuba and the Caribbean.

Ike could slam into the Texas coast immediately south of the port of Galveston late Friday or early Saturday as an even stronger storm, the National Hurricane Center forecast.

"Ike is expected to become a major hurricane by Thursday," the center said, referring to storms of Category Three and above intensity on the five-level Simpson-Saffir scale.

Texans living on the Gulf Coast were reminded of the "Great Storm" of 1900, an infamous hurricane that killed some 6,000 people and produced a storm surge that submerged much of Galveston.

Area residents also have fresh memories of Hurricane Rita, a powerful system heading in their direction in 2005 just weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

Two million people tried to flee the Galveston-Houston area before Rita hit, creating massive highway traffic jams with 20-hour backups. Rita however shifted in the last hours and made landfall east near the border with Louisiana, and the damage to the area was minimal.

Galveston neighbors Celia Padnos and Leslie LeGrande, who said they were jaded by their Rita experience, plan to say at home if Ike is anything less than a Category Three hurricane.

"I hate driving and I ended up driving for 14 hours to Austin (normally a 3.5 hour drive) with one cat, all my family photos, food and two young children in the car," said Padnos, recalling Hurricane Rita.

"Unless it's really bad, we don't want to go anywhere," said LeGrande.

If forced to evacuate, LeGradne hopes that hotels will be available -- during the Rita scare, many hotels were already filled with Katrina victims, she said.

Officials in the Texas coastal city of Corpus Christi said they were reluctant to order a mandatory evacuation on Wednesday.

"We have a huge oil and gas industry presence here with refineries and oil and gas processing facilities," said city spokeswoman Kim Womack. "We don't want to issue a mandatory evacuation because that would completely shut down operations and make recovery very difficult."

Residents however were busy preparing for the storm. "A lot of boards are going up around town," Womack said. "Everyone is in a ready state."

Officials in Houston, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) inland from Galveston, placed emergency personnel on standby to deal with Ike's imminent arrival.

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said it would complete evacuation of personnel from its offshore installations by Wednesday. The bulk of US oil refineries are located in the Gulf of Mexico.

President George W. Bush declared an emergency in Texas, freeing up federal aid to boost local efforts.

Governor Rick Perry, who declared a disaster threat in the region on and near the Texas Gulf coast on Monday, said state officials began helping evacuate ill, elderly and poor residents in coastal areas.

At midnight GMT Thursday Ike's center was located about 1,125 kilometers (700 miles) east of Brownsville, Texas, on the border with Mexico, the center said. The storm was moving towards the northwest at near 13 kilometers (eight miles) an hour.

Ike packed winds of near 160 kilometers (100 miles) an hour, with higher gusts, though it is expected to gain strength over the next 24 hours as it travels over the warm open waters of the Gulf.

The center described Ike as "a large tropical cyclone" with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 185 kilometers (115 miles).

Ike earlier left a trail of destruction as it raged over Cuba and killed more than 100 people across the Caribbean.

In Haiti, several hundred were killed by a rapid succession of powerful tropical storms and hurricanes over the past month including Ike.

The United States said it will provide 10 million dollars in aid to help storm-ravaged Haiti recover from deadly tropical storms, while the United Nations has called for some 107 million dollars in humanitarian aid.

Ike crashed into Cuba on Tuesday barely 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of the capital Havana, sparking new flooding in a region blasted two weeks earlier by Hurricane Gustav.

Five Cubans were confirmed dead after some 2.6 million people were moved to safer ground as a safety measure. More than 200,000 homes were damaged, officials said.


Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Deadly Ike cuts across Cuba as Haiti toll rises
Havana (AFP) Sept 9, 2008
Deadly Hurricane Ike on Tuesday made its second pass in a week over Cuba, lashing the country's northwest and its crumbling capital Havana, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees, and leaving four dead.

  • No hope for 'several hundred' missing in China landslide: official
  • UN calls for 107 million dollars in aid for storm-struck Haiti
  • Nearly 200 officials punished over China quake relief: state media
  • Cuba reels from battering by two storms

  • Thawing Permafrost Holds Vast Carbon Pool
  • Scientists promote 'global cooling' plan
  • Petascale Climate Modeling Heats Up At University Of Miami
  • Global Sea-Rise Levels By 2100 May Be Lower Than Some Predict

  • Report Explores Use Of Earth Data To Support National Priorities
  • GMES Under The Spotlight In France
  • China launches environmental satellites
  • European science satellite launch is delayed

  • Alliance For A Safe Alternative Fuels Environment
  • Startech Environmental Hydrogen Fueled Electricity Powered Up At Tech Center
  • Global 8 Environmental Technologies Announces Major Wind Project In China
  • Oil prices up in Asia on hurricane fears

  • Toll rises to 121 in Uganda hepatitis epidemic
  • Sharp unveils new anti-bird flu air purifier
  • HIV-positive Swazi women march against royals' shopping binge
  • Matsushita says new DNA technology identifies disease risks

  • What Came First: Viruses Or Cells
  • New Research Challenges Long-Held Assumptions Of Flightless Bird Evolution
  • Biocontrol Insect Exacerbates Invasive Weed
  • DNA Shows That Last Woolly Mammoths Had North American Roots

  • Solution Found For World's Worst Mass Poisoning Case
  • Chemists Identify Sources Of Mexico City's Smokey Air
  • EPA completes river cleanup
  • Heavy Metal Linked To Poor Growth And Fertility In Sydney Harbor Crustaceans

  • Racial lung cancer models aid predictions
  • Melting Swiss glacier yields Neolithic trove, climate secrets
  • Study reveals Australia suffering from 'man drought'
  • Chewing gum may reduce stress

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement