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AS MENTIONED EARLIER...THERE IS
STILL A CHANCE THAT IKE COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE
LANDFALL...BUT BASICALLY THIS IS LARGELY IRRELEVANT SINCE WE ARE
ONLY TALKING ABOUT A 10-KNOT WIND INCREASE. STATE OF THE ART
TECHNIQUES TO FORECAST INTENSITY AND MY SKILLS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH
TO PREDICT SUCH CHANGE WITH PRECISION. ALL WE NEED TO DO AT THIS
THIS TIME IS TO BE READY FOR A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE.
The outer bands of Hurricane Ike began lashing the Texas coast on Friday night as the enormous storm, 550 miles wide, churned toward Galveston and Houston, raising fears that a 20-foot-high wall of seawater could devastate Galveston.
Officials in Galveston, on a vulnerable barrier island, estimated that 40% of the city’s 57,000 residents had ignored an order to evacuate.
As many as 100,000 homes could be inundated by the wall of water expected to hit the coast, federal officials warned, and millions of people could be left without electricity.
The 61st Street pier was washed away, and several buildings lining the seawall had partly collapsed.
Galveston was mostly without power Friday night. Most of the buildings in downtown were flooded, as was the western part of the island. About five blocks inland from the seawall, streets were so submerged by 9 p.m. that the water had reached stop signs.
The storm shuttered at least 17 refineries in the Houston area, including those owned by ExxonMobil, Valero, BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell, which alone handle about 13% of the nation’s oil processing needs.
The Coast Guard reported that the situation at sea had become so dangerous that it could not evacuate 36 men adrift on a 584-foot freighter, the Antalina, registered in Cyprus, which was about 90 miles off the coast of Galveston.
The ship was in the direct path of Hurricane Ike. The crew, which had lost power about 4 a.m. Friday, will have to tough it out until after the storm, the Coast Guard said.
In Galveston, despite the order to leave, officials decided not to evacuate the 1,000 prisoners at the county jail for security reasons.
In low-lying Plaquemines Parish, south of New Orleans, as much as seven feet of water was reported on State Highway 39 by a state official.
Risk Management Solutions pegged the value of insured property in the Houston area at nearly $1 trillion, including the city's port -- the nation's second busiest.
Katrina devastated New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast in August 2005, killing 1,500 people and causing at least $81 billion in damage.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a 19-year-old male who was swept off the south Packery Channel jetty by high waves associated with Hurricane Ike Friday.
Two rescuers, including one who is in critical condition, also have been transported to area hospitals after being pushed against the rocks while attempting to rescue the man.
Hurricane Ike, still 135 miles at sea, apparently claimed its first victim earlier today when a 10-year-old Montgomery boy was killed by a falling branch as his parents cut down a tree.
The death was the darkest event thus far in a day that saw numerous rescues of coastal residents from the hurricane's rising waters.
Montgomery County authorities, who declined to immediately identify the victim, said the boy was killed about 9 a.m. as his parents cut down the tree, apparently in preparation for the coming storm.
The accident occurred at the family home in the 1800 block of Coe Road. The boy was dead on arrival at Tomball Regional Medical Center.
Hell, there was "extensive flooding" more than 8 hours ago. The Strand flooded pretty early, in fact. But yeah, I think I heard that about 12 square blocks of the island will remain above water...
Originally posted by anachryon
Parts of Galveston city are reporting "extensive flooding."
Storm surge is going to wreak havoc on the ship channel, but I don't expect any major flooding in Houston proper. It's the wind that's going to be more problems. 100mph winds in Houston. 315,000 people without power already. My in-laws lost power about an hour ago. I'm expecting to go dark any time now. Projected 78 mph winds at my house. Joy.
Originally posted by arktkchr
Mentioning 'storm surges' could reach 30 feet. And the highest point in Houston is 50 feet above sea-level.
A monster-sized Hurricane Ike bore down on the Texas coast late Friday, threatening to rattle the sparkling skyscrapers of America's fourth-largest city, shut down the heart of the U.S oil industry for days and obliterate waterfront towns already flooded with waist-high water.
At 600 miles across, the storm was nearly as big as Texas itself, and threatened to give the state its worst pounding in a generation. It was on track to crash ashore early Saturday near Galveston, the same site that suffered the nation's worst natural disaster when a legendary storm struck without warning and killed 6,000 more than a century ago.
As of 11 p.m. EDT, Ike was centered about 55 miles southeast of Galveston, moving at 12 mph. It was close to a Category 3 storm with winds of 110 mph, and was expected to strengthen by the time the eye hit land. Forecasters predicted it would come ashore somewhere near Galveston early Saturday and pass almost directly over Houston.
Originally posted by anachryon
Live TV reports: the Galveston seawall has been topped, water is flowing over Seawall Blvd like a river.
In Galveston, a working-class town of about 57,000, waves crashed over the 11-mile seawall built a century ago, after the Great Storm of 1900 killed 6,000 residents.
While the Galveston beachfront is dotted with new condominiums and some elegant beach homes on stilts, most people live in older, one-story bungalows. The National Weather Service warned ''widespread and devastating'' damage was expected.
In Surfside Beach, a town of 800, the police chief asked one stubborn couple, David and Dondi Fields, to write their names and Social Security numbers on their forearms with a black marker in case something bad happened to them.
Dondi Fields, 50, wrote ''I heart U'' and ''for my kids'' on her arm. But the couple finally decided to leave. Police used an aluminum boat to reach them, and a National Guard truck carried them to safety.