Thursday, September 11, 2008

Evacuations Underway In Galveston Area


Hurricane Ike Aims at Houston; Evacuations Called (Update2)

By Brian K. Sullivan

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Ike tripled in size in the central Gulf of Mexico as it churned on a weekend collision course with the 5.6 million residents of the Houston area, where coastal communities prepared to evacuate.

The system's strongest winds extend as far as 115 miles (185 kilometers) from the eye, up from 35 miles yesterday, the Miami- based National Hurricane Center said today. Ike's wind field is now larger than that of Katrina, the storm that devastated New Orleans in 2005, said Jeff Masters, the director of meteorology at private forecaster Weather Underground Inc.

``The total amount of energy is more powerful than Katrina, so we could be seeing a storm surge that could rival Katrina,'' Masters said. The storm is so large ``the location doesn't matter much; it is going to inundate a huge part of the Texas coast.''