Hurricane Ike's turn toward the Houston area spurred emergency officials this morning to call for a mandatory evacuation of residents in areas that will be subject to a massive storm surge.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett called for mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas starting at noon today. Those residents are in evacuation zones A and B, specifically ZIP codes 77058, 77059, 77062, 77520, 77546, 77571, 77586 and 77598.
Emmett asked all other Harris County residents to prepare to shelter in place, saying residents whose homes could be inundated by storm surges needed time and room to get to safety.
"The winds will blow and they'll howl and we'll get a lot of rain, but if you lose power and need to leave, you can do that later,'' he said.
If the hurricane remains on its current track, Emmett said, a 15-foot storm surge could hit areas around Galveston Bay.
"We're not talking about gently rising water," he said. "We're talking about a surge that will come into your homes."
Looks like we picked a good weekend to be out of town. To those of you who are evacuating today, stay safe on the roads. Please, no Rita repeats. I hope folks who are not in evac zones shelter safely in place, which will help avoid that scenario. And I hope the damage Ike wreaks will be manageable, and that recovery is swift. Hang in there, everyone.Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 11, 2008 to Hurricane Katrina