Rescue crews in high-wheel trucks, helicopters and boats ventured out to pluck people from their homes today in an all-out search for thousands of Texans who stubbornly stayed behind overnight to face Hurricane Ike. The storm blew out skyscraper windows, cut power to millions and swamped thousands of homes along the coast. Yachts were carried up onto roadways, buildings and homes collapsed and cars floated in floodwaters.
Overnight, emergency dispatchers received thousands of calls from frightened residents who bucked mandatory orders to leave as the storm closed in. Authorities estimated there were about 140,000 or more who stayed despite warnings they could die. The storm, which had killed more than 80 in the Caribbean before making landfall in the United States, claimed at least two lives in Texas, but the toll was likely to rise.