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Map via Wunderground
Thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Houston, Galveston, and other parts of Texas getting slammed by Hurricane Ike. The Weather Nerd is calling it the “Great Galveston Hurricane of 2008.” He’s also got a live Storm Surge page.
The adjective everyone is using: “Monstrous.”
The Houston Chronicle is liveblogging and reports power outages spreading.
Galveston Daily News is on the scene.
So is blogger Dr. Melissa Clouthier, who I met in Texas at the Americans For Prosperity summit. Stay safe, Melissa! Also in that pic is blogger Robbie Cooper, who has family in Houston, and blogger Rightwingsparkle, who is north of Houston and starting to feel winds. You take care, too, girl.
Blogger Jason Smith is also liveblogging as he rides out the storm.
And so is the staff of the Lone Star Times, with folks stationed all around the Houston area.
Troy Burwell has an excellent Flickr photostream.
Shelters are filling up in Tyler.
Another good resource: Stormlook.
And Glenn Reynolds has a huge link round-up.
PJTV is running a Disaster Watch initiative.
This is not good:
GALVESTON — Despite a mandatory evacuation and ominous forecasts of a killer storm, police, firefighters and the Galveston Beach Patrol rescued dozens of residents Friday from the rising tides brought on by Hurricane Ike as it bears down on Galveston Island.
Many had stayed on the island through numerous other hurricanes and were surprised by the height of the tidal surge. Others were mentally impaired, homeless or decrepit.
Police used a boat to rescue Ken Rygaard, 65, and his wife Jesse, 52, after the tide flooded the second story of the house on 67th Street near Stewart Road.
Rygaard said he has ridden out every storm over the last 43 years. “During (1983 Hurricane) Alicia, we only had a little bit of water,” Rygaard said “but nothing up to the second level.”
The Rygaards and others were taken to Ball High School on 43rd Street, which became a shelter of last resort. The city warned residents that there would be no shelters because all residents were expected to leave the island.
But city officials estimated that as many as 40 percent of the island’s about 60,000 residents remained in their homes.
Watch the refineries. Melissa spells it out: “We have many friends and contacts within the oil industry and they feed me information every so often. I think people need to understand how profoundly the refining being down is going to affect the nation. Even if the refineries could get back going the minute the storm passes, it will take at least a week to get going again. And, it should be noted, the refineries will not get going the minute the storm passes. America needs to build more.”
Update: More than 1.3 million are now without power.