Hurricane Ike pushes Texans to evacuate coast
Fort Worth, TX (WiredPRNews.com)—As Hurricane Ike gains strength and heads for the center of the Texas Gulf Coast, up to a million Texans could evacuate the area.
According to the National Hurricane Center page of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website, Ike is a category two with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. The three-day projection shows Ike heading directly for Corpus Christi and making landfall on Friday.
The warm waters of the Gulf should boost Ike up to a category three, as it moves west-northwest. As of 2 p.m. Central Standard Time, the outer bands of the hurricane were about 400 miles away from the Texas coast.
Buses are taking residents with serious medical conditions to San Antonio, 150 miles to the north, according to a September 10, 2008 MSNBC.com article. Schools have cancelled Thursday and Friday classes, as well as weekend sports events, according to the MSNBC.com article.
With the successful evacuation of an estimated two million people from the greater New Orleans area last week, in advance of Hurricane Gustav, Texas officials may require mandatory evacuations. The latest estimates show that Gustav, a category three when it came ashore, only killed seven people in the US. The memory of Katrina, a mandatory evacuation order and the proactive work of newly elected Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal kept death numbers incredibly low.
Texas governor Rick Perry declared 88 coastal counties disaster areas on Monday, paving the way for federal assistance, according to the MSNBC.com article. President Bush also declared an emergency for Texas, according to the story, on Wednesday as officials in Brazoria County, northeast of Corpus Christi, ordered mandatory evacuations of several small communities.
The story also indicated that 1,000 buses are ready to transport low-income and elderly residents without transportation out of the hurricane’s path. Last week, the Dallas- Fort Worth area housed thousands of Gustav evacuees and is now prepared to take up to 20,000 from the coast.
WiredPRNews.com Dallas News Online Distribution & Press Release Service