HURRICANE IKE – Watch LIVE Local Coverage FEEDS here
Corpus Christi dodged a bullet but no complaints on that from the folks in the lower coastal bend. Apart from the expected storm surge, some areas of Corpus Christi will remain hot and dry (in the 90’s), today after the landfall of Hurricane Ike. Ike, now a tropical storm is moving North and away from the coast though the eastern gulf and into Louisiana will see a heavy rainfall and tornado threat for the next 24 hours.
The storm at its peak was larger than Hurricane Katrina when it churned through the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.
Ike is moving toward the north. A turn towards the northeast is expected over the balance of the weekend with an increase in forward speed. The center of Ike is expected to move through eastern and northeastern Texas this afternoon and into the Midwest Sunday.
Additional wind gusts include:
- Sabine Pass, La.: 86 mph
- Freeport, Texas: 87 mph
- Port Arthur, Texas: 95 mph
- Lake Charles, La.: 77 mph
- Huntsville, Texas: 58 mph
The strength of the storm and the damage it has caused prevented firefighters from reaching multiple fires burning in Galveston and Houston.
Power is out along the Gulf Coast. CNN reported that 1.8 million customers of CenterPoint Energy in metropolitan Houston are without power, while the Louisiana Public Service Commission reports that more than 100,000 customers are without electricity, including some customers who lost power during Gustav.
A total of 2.9 million people had lost power from Ike at some point Friday into Saturday. It could be weeks before power is restored in all areas.
Over a million people evacuated the Gulf Coast before Ike made landfall and the authorities estimated that more than 100,000 people throughout the region, including 24,000 in Galveston, had disregarded mandatory evacuation orders.
Damage estimates according to the Houston Chronicle will top 18 billion dollars.