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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 09/11/2008

Meteorologist: 'Ike is a Freak Storm'

By Dan Stillman

Evacuations underway in Galveston and Houston


Probability of experiencing tropical storm force surface winds from Ike. See image bigger. Courtesy NOAA.

The first sentence of a recent post by Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters puts Hurricane Ike into proper perspective:

Hurricane Ike's winds remain at Category 2 strength, but Ike is a freak storm with extreme destructive storm surge potential.

Ike is continuing west-northwest today across the Gulf of Mexico, with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph, on track for a late Friday or early Saturday landfall, most likely somewhere between Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Texas-Louisiana border. Intensity forecasts at landfall range from Category 1 to 4, with the National Hurricane Center calling for Category 3 strength (winds 111-130 mph) when the storm comes ashore.

If the current forecast holds, what can people along the Texas coast expect?

Keep reading for more on the potential impacts of Hurricane Ike. Also, see our full forecast into early next week, and SkinsCast for Sunday's regular season home opener.

The Houston Chronicle's SciGuy summarizes the conditions that may be coming to the upper Texas coast, including the Galveston/Houston area:

*Tropical storm force winds starting midday Friday, lasting about 24 hours
*Hurricane force winds before midnight Friday night, lasting about 12 hours
*Peak winds of 110-115 mph, especially near where the eye makes landfall
*Storm surges 15-18 feet above normal
*2-4 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 6-10 inches

Masters mentions that, although the winds within Ike's eyewall have not yet increased as much as one might expect after last night's steep drop in the storm's central pressure, Ike is now larger than Katrina with hurricane force winds extending 115 miles out from its center and tropical storm force winds out to 275 miles.

Evacuations are already underway in Galveston, parts of southern Houston and areas south of the city.

By Dan Stillman  | September 11, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Comments

Ike is going to produce a monster storm surge. There is already flooding in Alabama and Florida coasts. Even if the winds are Cat. 2 there is the potential for a Cat. 4 level storm surge.

Posted by: Jamming | September 11, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

With the storm not headed to New Orleans - have you noticed that the media hype has not been as extensive as it was just a week or so ago for the other storm?

I hope FEMA, Bush and the media outlets are on top of this. I also hope everyone in Texas is ready for what can and likely will be a devastating storm with incredible amounts of flooding.

In communications with some folks I know in the Houston area, they seem to be taking this very lightly and without worry. I am concerned!

Posted by: Memco | September 11, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Local hurricane statement from Houston is pretty scary.

ENTIRE COASTAL CITIES AND TOWNS WILL BE INUNDATED. PERMANENT BREACHES MAY BE CUT OFF. FULL RECOVERY WILL TAKE MONTHS IF NOT YEARS. WATER LEVELS MAY EXCEED 13 FEET FOR MORE THAN A MILE INLAND. CONDITIONS WILL BE WORSENED BY BATTERING WAVES. SUCH WAVES WILL NOT ONLY EXACERBATE PROPERTY DAMAGE BUT WASH OUT SOLID ROAD AND BRIDGE STRUCTURES. DAMAGE FROM BEACH EROSION WILL TAKE YEARS TO REPAIR.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am appalled at the coverage that New Orleans received concerning the recent threat of Gustav.

What about Texas? Guess we are not that important.
We will survive & not cry about the government not
doing enough to help us.

Posted by: Joyce | September 11, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I was a helicopter deployed Coast Guard rescue swimmer at Air Station Houston from 2001 to 2005. If Galveston takes a direct hit from a Cat 4 storm, recovery will take years. The Galveston sea wall will be useless.

Posted by: Rocko | September 11, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Gustav's track was known for days in advance, was thought to be a bigger threat, and the tragedy of Katrina combined with vulnerability of New Orleans amplified the urgency.
Ike has been giving false movements for days. At one point it was thought it would hit the east coast of Florida. Another track had it hitting Mexico.
It is unfair to compare the coverage of Gustav and Ike. Now that Ike is known to be hitting Texas, you can count on all the news anchors packing bags and macintosh's and heading to Texas.

Posted by: Not a Rep or Dem | September 11, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

While I live in Canada, my family lives in Texas. They have rarely addressed Ike on the national news, but Gustav was in the media frequently. I am disgusted, and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the affected areas.

Posted by: me | September 11, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This is from the latest local advisory... Needless to say, time to leave. I think the "certian death" warning puts it in perspective.

ALL NEIGHBORHOODS...AND POSSIBLY ENTIRE COASTAL COMMUNITIES...WILL BE INUNDATED DURING HIGH TIDE. PERSONS NOT HEEDING EVACUATION ORDERS IN SINGLE FAMILY ONE OR TWO STORY HOMES WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH. MANY RESIDENCES OF AVERAGE CONSTRUCTION DIRECTLY ON THE COAST WILL BE DESTROYED. WIDESPREAD AND DEVASTATING PERSONAL PROPERTY DAMAGE IS LIKELY ELSEWHERE. VEHICLES LEFT BEHIND WILL LIKELY BE SWEPT AWAY. NUMEROUS ROADS WILL BE SWAMPED...SOME MAY BE WASHED AWAY BY THE WATER. ENTIRE FLOOD PRONE COASTAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE CUTOFF.

Link: http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=hgx&wwa=hurricane%20warning

Good Luck Texans!

Posted by: LaytonsDan | September 11, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Re-read this:http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html

and pay special attention to this:
http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2008/IKE_Ike.png

to understand why this is not a normal storm.

Posted by: Duh | September 11, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone provide guidance on timing of saturday storms, i.e. morning vs. afternoon? trying to figure out options for tent rentals...yikes!

Posted by: One-note Rishi | September 11, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Is it relevant to mention that the Federal Government today is run by a guy from Texas?

Posted by: Not a Rep or Dem | September 11, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

From the Houston Chronicle's "Worst Case Scenario" of a landfalling hurricane (eerily similar to the New Orleans Times-P report from pre-Katrina) published in 2005.

Models show 'massive devastation' in Houston

"Houston's perfect storm would feed on late summer's warm waters as it barreled northward across the Gulf of Mexico, slamming into the coast near Freeport.

A landfall here would allow its powerful upper-right quadrant, where the waves move in the same direction as the storm, to overflow Galveston Bay. Within an hour or two, a storm surge, topping out at 20 feet or more, would flood the homes of 600,000 people in Harris County. The surge also would block the natural drainage of flooded inland bayous and streams for a day or more."

Current NHC track?

Has the center of Ike passing .25 miles from the center of Freeport.

Posted by: Jamie Jones, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

If Houston suffers significant damage, we'll all feel it. Most of our energy industry is based there. The cost (and maybe even supply) impacts could be substantial.

Posted by: Southside FFX | September 11, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Seriously?
Not relevant. at all.

Is it relevant to mention that the Federal Government today is run by a guy from Texas?

Posted by: Not a Rep or Dem | September 11, 2008 2:54 PM

Posted by: American | September 11, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

FOR heilp

Posted by: charles | September 11, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

There's already very high water in Galveston, coming up the foot of houses on stilts... with the center still a good 450 miles or so away. Very bad situation down there, guess we gotta hope the track keeps shifting north now so they will be on the better side of things.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Will be interesting to see if the aid to Texas is as good as during the Republican convention where Bush needed a good excuse for not showing up. Gustav provided that excuse.

Posted by: DOnkeY | September 11, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I was there when Hurricane Rita was threatening to strike Houston. I was part of the million plus people to evacuate. I got the last taxi in the city and went to the airport and spent hours to get a flight out. It was a very frightening experience! On the way out the airport I saw a sign that said "Everything is bigger in Texas". I thought that was interesting. Then the night before I found a pillow that said "The Lord your God will be with you where ever you go". Joshua 1:9. I keep that pillow by my front door never to forget. I am feeling for the people in Houston right now. I know the feeling! I live in California. Fortunately we are safe right now.....no earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. These seem to be the "End Time" signs. I hope everyone gets ready!

Posted by: Sonny | September 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

This isn't just a freak storm; Ike is completely insane. The NHC's current "Danger Zone" for this storm is larger than Texas. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/tafb_latest/refresh/danger_atl_latestBW+gif/151313123_sm.gif

Also take note of the huge wind swath Ike is producing in the Gulf of Mexico. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/151313.shtml?swath#contents

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

If your on the Island of Galveston, you should take the warning very seriously and leave now. Its only a matter of time before the ferry system is shut down. Our Coast Guard flight crew responded 4 hours after Rita passed through Sabine Pass, texas (which is an hours drive from Galveston) to pluck people off roofs and engage in search and rescue efforts, little did we know when we got on scene, there were no house or structures left for people to be on top of. Rita came ashore as a strong Cat 3 so you get the idea if Ike comes ashore as a possible Cat 4.

Posted by: Rocko | September 11, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

TO the 'disgusted' canadian complaining about media coverage (lack of?).

There will be plenty of media coverage as the anticipated path of the storm becomes more certain.

Also, Galveston? Really? There are still idiots living in Galveston? I thought that lesson had been learned decades ago.

Posted by: Nathan | September 11, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It's Texas!

We've survived these storms for many years without media coverage or help from the Federal Government. Texans are awfully hard to keep down.

Posted by: Wes | September 11, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I was there when Hurricane Rita was threatening to strike Houston. I was part of the million plus people to evacuate. I got the last taxi in the city and went to the airport and spent hours to get a flight out. It was a very frightening experience! On the way out the airport I saw a sign that said "Everything is bigger in Texas". I thought that was interesting. Then the night before I found a pillow that said "The Lord your God will be with you where ever you go". Joshua 1:9. I keep that pillow by my front door never to forget. I am feeling for the people in Houston right now. I know the feeling! I live in California. Fortunately we are safe right now.....no earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. These seem to be the "End Time" signs. I hope everyone gets ready!

I was also in NYC ten days after 9/11/2001 helping the people and praying. I am a missionary.

In addition I was also in Houston two weeks before Hurricane Rita which was one week after Hurricane Katrina. Most of the hotel I stayed in was full of evacuees. I prayed for them too. It was one awful experience to see what can happen with these disasters.

We need to be prepared spiritually to handle these! Only God can help!

Posted by: Tracy Sonshine | September 11, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

CNN is streaming from Galveston, showing already rising waters.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Why is God punishing Texas so much this year?
Maybe they are doing something bad or maybe they are not good enough? God knows.

Posted by: scott | September 11, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Many reasons for difference in news coverage for this storm that may hit Texas over Gustav that may have hit New Orleans. Most are political as N.O. seems a favorite of the news media. Some are legitimate as damage from flooding is far more damaging to property that government encouraged people to rebuild and live in. I am from and live in Louisiana and cannot understand why people want to live in a hole that may kill them.

Posted by: John | September 11, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

To those "appalled" and "disgusted" by the lack of media coverage, perhaps you should drop the feigned outrage and focus on the safety of you and your loved ones who may be in harm's way.

Comparing tragedies (even potential ones) based on the amount of airtime CNN gives each one is a pretty callous exercise.

Posted by: Some guy | September 11, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I want to know if we here in Houston area will get our $2500 Check Card from FEMA when htis is over. The people in New Orleans got one for katrina and rita and ike is suppose to be worst

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the feds are evil, but, I'm guess that those in trouble will have no trouble accepting help, or in using the federally financed hurricane surveillance.

The long term forcast is for more storms and higher water... global warming and all that. Texas is big enough to leave plenty of room to move inland, so I'm sure things will turn out alright.

Posted by: Brian | September 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that statement from the National Weather Service is a bit over the top? This seems like a routine hurricane -- here today, gone tomorrow. Jeesh, calm down.

Posted by: Meaty O. Arlgist | September 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Also will we get allot of stuff from WalMart so we can return it for money when this is all over.

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey DOnkeY---you're an ass!!!

Posted by: Danl | September 11, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The other thing (re: media coverage) is that New Orleans and the mid-La area was in the center of the track from about 6 days out, never wavering. Texas has been in and out the bullseye daily, so no one wants to go out on a limb and declare a hit for Texas

Posted by: Jamie Jones, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I live in conroe, a city about thirty miles out of houston, and noone here is really taking this seriously. the gas stations are full of people, and the stores are running out of bottled water, but not much else. I45 is no where near as backed up as it was when katrina or rita hit. we lived through both of those hurricanes. with some areas experiencing more damage than new orleans, with no help at all from FEMA. I say, We survived it twice, and have been for years, we can do it again!

Posted by: Spotguy | September 11, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Only the far left can make a Hurricane political....what an Idiot

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I read an interesting on-line article pointing out in interesting "inconvenient truth" when it comes to hurricanes. It is a fact that hurricanes that hit the US do so in identifiable regions, such at the east coast and here in the Gulf coast. The researcher pointed out that one thing that has not changed much is the intensity of hurricane. What has changed significantly over the past +50 years is the shift of people moving and/or population growth in these "Hurricane Ally's". With the build up infrastructure of the East and Gulf Coasts and the desire to "retire-on-the-beach" in Florida, it should be no surprise to anyone loss of property and life that occurs. I am more inclined to attribute the devastation to human stupidity rather than so-called "global warming". Has anyone else taken notice of this?

Posted by: Moss | September 11, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

You can put Texas in a Storm but it is still a Storm!

Posted by: DOnkeY | September 11, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm an airline mechanic at DFW (Dallas/Ft.Worth Intntl airport) and a disaster prep team has been organizing at our biggest hangar here for the last 48 hours nonstop. Many lessons were learned from Katrina; government and civilian side alike. Responders are getting ready and civilians are getting out of harms way, so hopefully folks can find some comfort in that.

Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Those who fault the federal government during times like this need to re-examine their own decision to live "unprepared" in "Hurricane Ally". Your excuses and accusations are a CROCK! Out here in California, we live with the very unpredictable threat of earthquakes. Some regions of the State "rock-and-roll" more than others, however, it is the RESIDENT(S) who is responsible for having earthquake insurance. Stop hammering the federal gov't for your stupidity!

Posted by: Moss | September 11, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Jamie, regarding your comment that Texas has been in and out the bullseye... I think that's a little misleading. The track has shifted up and down the coast a bit, but TX has been the only target of the NHC 5 day since the storm got into the Gulf.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Here is a GREAT example of a community taking a proactive stance in the face of this storm. Great comment Chris!

"I'm an airline mechanic at DFW (Dallas/Ft.Worth Intntl airport) and a disaster prep team has been organizing at our biggest hangar here for the last 48 hours nonstop. Many lessons were learned from Katrina; government and civilian side alike. Responders are getting ready and civilians are getting out of harms way, so hopefully folks can find some comfort in that." (Posted by: Chris | September 11, 2008 3:52 PM)

Posted by: Moss | September 11, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

LA cries for help over everything. I guess TX just have to help themselves.

Posted by: Sally | September 11, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

We here in Texas help each other and do not worry about government or anyone else. That is why Texas is the greatest state in the United States. We take care of ourselves and we help everyone else.

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It's not just President Bush and FEMA. I live in a hurricane strike zone and it starts with individual responsibility, local, state, federal government in that order.

Stay safe Texas!

Posted by: Kethry | September 11, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

It's all bush and cheney's fault

Posted by: typicallib | September 11, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Even though we are up in Austin, I can say that we are all getting pretty scared if the wind levels do not diminish significantly after it hits the coast! We are also prone to flash flooding all around the city. I plan on "bunkering down" in my house all weekend and hope that there is minimal loss of life (human and of the furry pet persuasion) and minimal property damage.

Posted by: in Austin | September 11, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I see way more right-wing hurricane politics here than left. Must have something to do with the texas setting.

Seeing as a live in a part of the country (seattle) where we don't have so many of these issues, I'm so glad to hear you guys won't be taking any of my federal tax dollars to pay for hurricane damage.

Posted by: Brian | September 11, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Surfs up and finally some big waves for me to ride. I can hardly wait!

Posted by: G Threat | September 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the feds are evil, but, I'm guess that those in trouble will have no trouble accepting help, or in using the federally financed hurricane surveillance.

The long term forcast is for more storms and higher water... global warming and all that. Texas is big enough to leave plenty of room to move inland, so I'm sure things will turn out alright.

Posted by: Brian | September 11, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

JOYCE @ 2:24

You asked WHY all the attention on GUSTAV AND NOLA, and I'll be happy to direct you to all the "speeches" and attention given to it by the RNC and its friendly folks.

Your comment smacks of bitterness and mean-spirited thoughts. WHY?????

I live smack dab on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, but lack the animosity your message conveyed.

To all in Ike's path, may you stay safe and look out for one another, and God's grace be with you.

Posted by: values voter | September 11, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I blame the French.

Posted by: Coleman | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Where is there flooding on the Florida and Alabama coast? I live on the beach in Pensacola, my sister lives on Panama City Beach, Florida. There is no flooding.

Posted by: Mamie | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The hurricane is an act of god and the main person to blame is yourself if you're not prepared.

Hurricane Survival Kit

http://www.southcom.mil/hurricaneprep/hurricane_survival_kit.htm

Posted by: Paul | September 11, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

hey moss, what global warming? the earth is cooling but al gore and his boys tell lie after lie after lie. and like they say, you tell it long enough, people will start believing it.

Posted by: In the know | September 11, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

as a Florida survivor of a few hurricanes ....andrew and wilma to name a two...my heart and prayers go out to all who are affected. One flees from the water, not the wind. If it's gonna be a 20 foot storm surge get the hell out of Dodge.

Posted by: just me | September 11, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey people from Texas, the reason the media is not covering Houston like they do New Orleans is because your city wasn't built BELOW SEA LEVEL and can't possibly flood with waters up to your roof tops.

And before you go on a rant about why did they build a city below sea level; I'll remind you that New Orleans was established in 1718 over a hundred years before Houston.

And since, "We here in Texas help each other and do not worry about government or anyone else." I guess you'll be rejecting any offers of Aid for those affected right?
You guys are so full of it.

Posted by: louisiana | September 11, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Marnie - Some of the flooding is on Hwy 98 (now closed) between Okaloosa Island and Destin, FL and some beachfront areas and streets also in Destin, FL.

Posted by: Kethry | September 11, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Cheers to the guy who said "Surf's up, finally some big waves for me to ride!"

Best response so far. The people who posted things about the "end times" are nutjobs.

Posted by: YaYow! | September 11, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeehaw, here we go!

Lucky for Eisenhower, he's not running the "I Like Ike!" campaign this election cycle. That'd be a killer.

Posted by: Davis | September 11, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

My parents finally heeded the mandatory evacuation order, so I'm relieved. Hope everyone there stays safe.

Posted by: surlychick | September 11, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I just want my $2500 check card and free stuff to take back to walmart for free money.....just like what New Orleans got.....We pay taxes too.

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I live in Houston and the local news is telling us 'run from water, hide from wind'. So most people in Houston are waiting it out. However, every town south of Houston (Galveston is 45 minutes away) is running from the large potential surge. Thats what all the traffic is. We'll be fine but there will be the usual property damage in the eye's track. Also, one good thing about hurricanes, I just came from the DMV and there was NO line!

Posted by: Bill | September 11, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I pray that the people and their property, jobs and businesses will be spared by this terrible turn of events.

Posted by: Dan Rains | September 11, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

All joking aside.....I do love Texas and everyone that lives here....god be with us all and keep us safe.....by all means....parents of small kids....please do not try to be tough and ride it out....protect your kids first.

Posted by: Chesley | September 11, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Irresponsible development (suburban sprawl) and global warming only worsen the impact of this and future storms.

Posted by: Flippy Pimpstein | September 11, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

as far as New Orleans goes:

Times are not good here, the city is crumbing into ashes.It has been buried under a lava flood of taxes and frauds and maladministration so that is has become only a study for archaeologists.It's condition is so bad that when I write about it, as I intend to do soon, nobody will believe I am telling the truth.But it is better to live here in a sack cloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.

Lafcadio Hearn, writing about New Orleans 1877

Posted by: Dave | September 11, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

God bless Texas

Posted by: YellowCab | September 11, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

My brother is in Houston, will not leave, I am in Ca. whis he would heed my advice and leave now....texas mentality?

would others from Fla, La, and Tx post what is going on in their area?

Thanks

Posted by: dalabunny | September 11, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Another reader worried about the lack of media attention this storm is getting since it is headed to Texas as compared to the higher level given to Gustav when it headed toward New Orleans. That reader also worried that FEMA and Texas were sufficiently preparing for Ike.

My thought is that such matters should be a concern of the states not the federal government and that Texas most like is much better prepared than Louisiana would ever be, though I do think Lousiana under its current governor did better preparing for Gustav that it did under its former governor preparig for Katrina.

Texas will be fine. Its like a whole other country!

Posted by: Nick | September 11, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

These are signs well written in the scriptures and those who scoff will CERTAINLY be sorry!

Posted by: nottanutcase | September 11, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

He"the reason the media is not covering Houston like they do New Orleans is because your city wasn't built BELOW SEA LEVEL and can't possibly flood with waters up to your roof tops."

Actually, though Houston is not below sea level, it is flat. Once the ground(already swampy) is saturated the water has nowhere to go, making Houston one of the most flood prone cities in the world, despite being above sea level. It floods in areas of houston every rainfall and not only can it flood with waters up to the rooftops, it DID in 2001 during a tropical storm. In my former neighborhood there were mansion on stilts that were not visible for a week after tropicla storm allison. Please so your research before commenting.

However, with the president being from Texas, federal aid comes swiftly, in fact, its already been declared a federal emergency. In 2001 Fema tanks saved people the second day of the storm, there's no reason to believe they won't do the same this go 'round. The problem with evacuations is that it leaves an empty city with no one around to rebuild, evacuations were formerly illegal in texas, which is why you can't even tell houston was ever mostly underwater 7 years ago.

Posted by: Kassi | September 11, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I pray for the millions who will lose comfort, time, assets, and any lives but this is part of life and I stress preparedness. Havana should be an example of what an early Ike can do.

Property you can replace, protect your loved ones most of all. Friday 8PM be ready-Sunday.

Posted by: Paul | September 11, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

This thing has gotten a lot more serious in the last couple hours. Galveston people, every one of you needs to leave now. You should not think you can survive this.

Posted by: KME | September 11, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

YaYow..............I'll pray for you

Posted by: Proud 2 B a nut job | September 11, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Where is there flooding on the Florida and Alabama coast? I live on the beach in Pensacola, my sister lives on Panama City Beach, Florida. There is no flooding.

Posted by: Mamie | September 11, 2008 4:11 PM
Mamie, do you really believe the only coast of Florida is in your little town. Try looking down. WE ARE FLOODING.

Posted by: TD | September 11, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like even New Orleans could be affected, look at the fetch for those waves, like 500 miles of arc, this is one bad mo fo, everyone down there please take this seriously

God Bless

Posted by: alaska jeff | September 11, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Chesley, you're an idiot. I'm sorry. You're mocking people who lost their homes, possessions, and money for getting aid? And where is this Walmart stuff coming from? Get over yourself. If you're in Texas, I hope that you don't get knocked on your ass and find yourself begging for someone to help you. Bitter people don't do too well during hurricanes baby.

Texas, prepare for the worst because it's coming! I hope ya'll get through it!

Posted by: Get over yourselves and prepare! | September 11, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Hey people from Texas, the reason the media is not covering Houston like they do New Orleans is because your city wasn't built BELOW SEA LEVEL and can't possibly flood with waters up to your roof tops.

And before you go on a rant about why did they build a city below sea level; I'll remind you that New Orleans was established in 1718 over a hundred years before Houston.

And since, "We here in Texas help each other and do not worry about government or anyone else." I guess you'll be rejecting any offers of Aid for those affected right?
You guys are so full of it."

I am pretty sure that the media spends more time covering NOLA than other regions is simply because they were hoping for another Katrina. The ratings for the loss of life and property are much higher than watching a storm come into an area where people take care of business and go on.

Take a look at the flooding in the mid west a month or so ago. It made great TV for a few days, but then when the media noticed that the people were managing to recover without begging for the Federal Government to do something. They then lost interest and found other stories to discuss.

As for being built below sea level, bad choices are made, but that doesnt mean you cant learn from them and correct those problems. Im not saying everyone should just abandon New Orleans, but you knew for 200 years that the city was below sea level and a hurricane comes with a storm surge. It isn't rocket scince to figure out when a hurricane is coming, you might want to make plans to get ABOVE sea level before the floods get there.

And yes, I will reject offers of aid, since I can always recover and take care of my own. I will leave that aid for use by those who choose the easy route.

Posted by: Riding It Out in Houston | September 11, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I promise you if Ike's destruction is as bad it's currently being portrayed, with possibly 600,000 or more made homeless - Texans will be just as whiny as the people from any other state. That said, given the billions upon billions that have been earned in the Houston area since oil prices have skyrocketed, I certainly hope that both state and local governments have set aside huge amounts of their tax surpluses (they do have surpluses, right?) for an unforeseeable tragedy such as this. That's what a true fiscal conservative would do. If not and they're just running on a shoestring budget because voters elected politicians who promised to lower their taxes, I for one won't have a lot of sympathy for Houston residents when they come to Washington begging for money to rebuild their homes and devastated infrastructure.

Posted by: Tom | September 11, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

What the heck. Are we at the top of Google search results again? Way too many politically charged comments not to be.

The wording in the storm surge section of the hurricane warning does bear a very scary resemblance to the NWS Bulletin to NoLa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Weather_Service_bulletin_for_New_Orleans_region

I hope everyone heeds the evacuation orders and stays safe through this. Ugh.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Born and raised in Houston, been here when Alicia hit back 25 years ago and it wasnt fun. We are boarding up and hunkering down now getting ready for an increase over Alicia by at least 25-30%. Anyways, here is something you might want to look at. The buoy right by the eye of the storm is going nuts. With 30ft waves you can just figure this will hit galveston to some degree.... interesting to look at the statistics of this page:

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php?station=42001&meas=sght&uom=E&time_diff=5&time_label=CDT

You will notice the spike for the eye (im just guessing ).

here is the main page link:
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42001

Posted by: BW | September 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

So if Galveston is destroyed, should the tax payers have to rebuild there too? The only reason why I am asking is because I have heard so many Texans complaining about having to spend their money to rebuild New Orleans. But being that Galveston has been effected in the past from hurricanes, I was just wondering if Texans felt the same way about that city.

Posted by: T- from Nola | September 11, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong Houston resident I'm amazed that anyone, living within the city limits, would pay any heed to a hurricane evacuation order. For the record, Houston is 45 miles from Galveston Bay. Unless you are closer than fifteen miles to the coast, a worst case scenario would be street flooding, trees and power lines down. The unmitigated disaster caused by the only hurricane evacuation in the city's history is a textbook example of political incompetance and directly resulted in fatalites that otherwise would not have occurred. Here's a tip for my fellow Houstonians: If you don't live in Galveston, this time stay put!

Posted by: John | September 11, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I've been living in Galveston my whole life and there aint a god damn hurricane on this planet big enough to make me leave. I got 2 cases of budwiser and all my ZZ top albums ready for this storm.... Bring it on Ike!

Posted by: Keeland Sanders | September 11, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Here in New Orleans, things are very different here especially when it comes to the aftermath of hurricanes. We have to many boons living in our city and expect everything handed to them. The normal taxpayer has to suffer because we are the ones paying for the idiots on welfare. Our mayor and other councilmembers are all crooks and only help one race what about the white people? Texas is not have as screwed up as we are.

Posted by: j | September 11, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

We should be fine down here in Texas. The only people who should be worried are poor people. Or black people. Or Mexicans. God help you, because Bush sure won't.

Posted by: Anthony | September 11, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey, not all Louisianaians are from New Orleans, you know. Us Cajuns got racked pretty good by Rita and you didn't hear us crying about it. No, we just pulled up our pants and went back to work and never expected or received anything like New Orleans got.

N.O is a bunch of whiners and people who have been feeding off the system for far too long. I'm surprised that there were any people left in NO to evacuate when Gustav came.

We got hit pretty hard by Gustav too, harder than NO, but they still got all of the attention.

No, please don't lump the whole state together. We Cajuns have a certain amount of pride in taking care of ourselves.

Posted by: Hugh Jess Johnson | September 11, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Stand together, people of this great nation, in prayers and $$ support for one another. Keep the thoughts and words positive and be done with the negative-speak,
much love to you.

Posted by: Pete | September 11, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Why are you guys turning this into a political thing? Your talking about a major hurricane and your worried about surpluses, taxes and the ways of the government. Personally, im in Houston and at this point dont care about your political slander or views, prayers would be appreciated.

By the way, we have seen spikes of gas prices between 20 to 30 cents over the past two hours. Im sure this will be felt nationwide.

Good luck all!

Posted by: WTF | September 11, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I live on the west side of Houston and I wanted to explain why everyone is not fleeing this storm. I don't think we are all "taking it lightly." We have been warned over and over again in the last 24 hours to let *those who live in coastal areas* evacuate. The rest of us are to "hunker down" (to use the local terminology) and stay inside. The mood here is cautious and subdued. I for one am glad to stay here; the outbound freeways are getting worse by the hour. Despite the rugged cowboy stereotype often linked with Texas, people here are concerned about our own well-being and the safety of others. Our city learned some important lessons from Hurricane Rita; hopefully this time we will all work together to avoid the chaos of a full-scale, city-wide evacuation.

Posted by: hunkering down | September 11, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Houston is 45min from Galveston island, but not Galveston bay. Once you get outside of Highway 8 you are already more than halfway to the bay.

Posted by: KME | September 11, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

OEM in the area is saying modeling predicts 1.5 million killed in the area WITHOUT evacuation... pretty sobering stat.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | September 11, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"I've been living in Galveston my whole life and there aint a god damn hurricane on this planet big enough to make me leave. I got 2 cases of budwiser and all my ZZ top albums ready for this storm.... Bring it on Ike!"

O'rly?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galveston_Hurricane_of_1900

Posted by: Anonymous | September 11, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I live on the water in the Tampa Bay area. We have been getting a lot of wind the last few days. Stronger wind today, getting some rain bands and the tides today are higher than we've had since we've lived in our house BUT we aren't flooding.

Posted by: Sandy | September 11, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I moved away about 2 years ago. I miss Houston everyday, but I have obligations.
My prayers are with my extended family and friends and to ALL the TEXANS and transplants... Houston I know that you will pull together and help each other just like you did after Rita and Katrina.
Texas is not a State it's a state of MIND and they are generous and determined and God will watch over them.

Posted by: Lonestarkaty, Rockville,MD | September 11, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Those of you comparing Hurricane Alicha back in 1983 to "Ike" need a quick refresh. The highest winds recorded on land were 96 mph sustained, and gusts were up to 127 mph. The lowest barometric pressure recorded on land was 28.55" at the Alvin weather service office. Rainfall amounts exceeded 5 inches in most places, and the east side of Houston received almost 11 inches. The highest storm surge was a 12' reading at Seabrook on Galveston Bay. On the gulf side of Galveston Island, tides were 7.5', and on the bay they were 8'. Baytown, on the north shore of Galveston Bay, recorded a 10.7' tide which put water on the rooftops in the Brownwood subdivision. Severe freshwater flooding was minimized by Alicia's fast movement inland, and most damage was the result of wind and storm surge or a combination of the two. Ike is projected to hit South of Galveston which would put the right side of the hurricane on Galveston Island, anyone who knows anything about hurricanes know that the right side of a hurricane will produce the worse wind and tidal surge. Galveston is 13.9 feet above see level on the western side with a 17ft sea-wall. With a projected tidal surge of 20 plus feet (as a Cat 3 storm), what if it comes ashore as a Cat 4? You do the math.

Posted by: Rocko | September 11, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Houston. Too bad.

Posted by: Bob | September 11, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

First the Oilers leave, now this? WTF!

Posted by: Juan | September 11, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Steve | September 11, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Keeland: Hope you're right. As for me, my last drink won't be Budweiser.


http://a.abcnews.com/US/HurricaneRita/popup?id=1149050

Posted by: dg | September 11, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dg | September 11, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

To those of you trying to decide whether or not to evacuate:


~~~~~~~~~~
Galveston Hurricane of 1900

One eyewitness account said the storm "sounded like 1,000 demons screaming in the night," with women and children screaming for help and men "begging for mercy from God."
~~~~~~~~~~

Please do the safe thing.

Posted by: dg | September 11, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

from Dr.Jeffrey Masters' blog:

Ike will probably inundate a 250-mile stretch of Texas coast from Port O'Connor to the Louisiana border with a 10-15 foot storm surge. This will occur even if Ike is a Category 1 storm at landfall. If Ike is a Category 3+ hurricane at landfall, surges of 20+ feet are possible. The latest experimental storm surge forecast From NOAA's SLOSH model (Figure 1) shows a 10% chance that Ike's storm surge will exceed 18-21 feet at Galveston. The Galveston sea wall is 17 feet high, so it may get overtopped. At noon today, a mandatory evacuation of the entire island was ordered in case this worst-case scenario is realized. The official NHC forecast is calling for maximum storm surge heights of 20 feet.

Posted by: Dave | September 11, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I have lived on the east coast, both Florida and North Carolina, for many years and have experienced many hurricanes. My husband is a lineman who builds, maintains and repairs power lines. He puts in long hazardous hours working to restore downed powerlines. My comments to all of you here: Prepare yourself and your family, home, and pets when a hurricane is headed your way. After the storm go out and clean up your yard and repair your house. Contact the insurance company and make sure they take care of you. Then get on with life. Don't just stand there with your hand out expecting our government system--local, state or federal to come give you money and provide you with longterm housing or give you a money for a new home because you were foolish enough to build it in a low area, on the beach, below sea level or some other hazard prone place.

Posted by: myprettyone | September 11, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

In response to:
Why is God punishing Texas so much this year? Maybe they are doing something bad or maybe they are not good enough? God knows.
Posted by: scott | September 11, 2008 3:22 PM

Are you kidding me Scott? You believe that God is punishing the people of Texas with a hurricane because they are doing something bad or aren't good enough?

Let's all pray for Scott that he may find his way back to reality *rolls eyes*

Posted by: Seriously | September 11, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Scott was kidding. In fact, I suspect he was alluding to the Jerry Fallwell line about Katrina being punishment for NOLA because there was a gay pride parade scheduled there the weekend that Katrina hit.

Posted by: asdf | September 11, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The guy running the fed is from the east coast. He only bought a ranch, oil business and baseball team in Texas to look more Texan. Texas chose him to be governor because he promised to reduce their taxes educate their children and be hard on crime. How did that turn out for you average Texans? He is no Texan. He dose not even ride horses, he is afraid of them. The only ranching he dose is clear brush while our children die in his unprovoked war and our people drown in the Louisiana. So, don't kid yourselves in Texas. Your just going to have to learn what most of us knew 40 years ago. Then another Ike warned us about the "military industrial complex" and about the costs we will pay if left unchecked. Texas gave us Bush now god is giving Texas Ike maybe this time they will see the wisdom in Ike's words and the risks of believing in Carpet Baggers.

Posted by: bioliberty | September 11, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Finally: cnn.com just noticed the NWS earlier warning of "certain death" and made it the top story.

It's amazing how lax their coverage of this storm is (despite the weather community's warnings) vs. how much they hyped Gustav.

Posted by: Ryan | September 11, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

bioliberty needs spell check, English grammar tutoring as well as sentence structure education.

Posted by: spell check | September 11, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

As a Katrina surviver, who evacuated to Houston from New Orleans I was thankful for the generosity of the people from Texas. I eventually return home where I have gotten my life back in order thanks to Fema who filled some the pieces. On the other handed, I can also remember those unconpastionated, evilminded, racist attitude people who blamed everything from crime to low housing on citizens from New Orleans. So now the good massive of people must suffer the wrath of Ike because of the fools who never could understand losing your love ones, pastime, etc. On top of the p.t.s.d. that has succomb to the young children and parents. God bless you. Oh yes some of you believe thats it okay to take care of other countries but not help your own peo[ple.

Posted by: Xilla01 | September 11, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Screw Houston. Seriously. Bah.

Posted by: David Warren | September 12, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

After reading all this BS about New Orleans, I can only say that I can't WAIT for the first coverage of people who can't find food or water. I can't WAIT for the crying for FEMA and the National Guard.

To think I was upset FOR the people of Houston because the idiots in charge told you all to stay put.

You guys suck.

Posted by: bullet | September 12, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hey, now! A little respect for BS!

Posted by: Bob S. | September 13, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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