Mandatory evacuations called for Texas as residents brace for Ike

Ed Emmett
Ed Emmett

By Jay Gray

GALVESTON, Texas (KHNL) - Mandatory evacuations are underway for low lying areas all along the Texas gulf coast and in the city of Houston as the state braces for Hurricane Ike.

The powerful storm is expected to make landfall sometime early Saturday morning.

As hurricane Ike continues to take aim at the Texas gulf coast there is now a serious warning for those in the potential strike zone.

"I want to emphasize what a dangerous storm this has the potential to be," said Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for low lying areas and it appears most residents are boarding up and getting out.

"Well it's going to come or it's not going to come, and if it destroys my house, I'm not in it, so I mean I lose a house but I don't lose my life," said Texas resident Diane Campbell.

Ike is a monster storm, expected to become at least a category three before it makes landfall. And while sustained winds over 110 miles an hour are forecast, it is perhaps the possibility of a 15 foot storm surge that is causing the greatest concern here.

With that type storm surge we aren't talking about gently rising water, we're talking about a surge," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

Emergency preparations are well underway in Texas. Red Cross volunteers are pouring in, while critical care patients are being moved out of harms way.

Shelters are being set up across the state to house the hundreds of thousands of evacuees expected to move to higher ground.

An evacuation the Texas governor Rick Perry says will save countless lives.

"If your county calls for an evacuation do it."

Now all watch and wait for exactly where Ike will make landfall.

Current projections show that will likely be just south of here sometime in the early hours of Saturday morning.