Hurricane Ike is still more than 200 miles from land, but its waves are already flooding Galveston Island neighborhoods, CNN reports. Residents have been warned to evacuate or face “certain death,” as waters are expected to rise up to 22 feet. A 584-foot tanker, meanwhile, lost power about 90 miles off the island’s southern coast. With conditions too dangerous to attempt a rescue, the crew will have to weather the storm within the ship.
Hurricane Ike is a category 2, but forecasters expect it to strengthen before it hits land. The storm is so huge that it covers almost the entire Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service expects massive walls of water when Ike comes ashore. “All neighborhoods ... and possibly entire coastal communities ... will be inundated during the peak storm tide,” said the service, in its most strongly worded warning since Hurricane Katrina.