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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ike tearing up Cuba; Heading to South Texas

Hurricane Ike is moving across the entire length of Cuba causing extensive damage and destruction. Ike smashed the island Sunday night as a Cat 3 hurricane and is slowly moving northwest covering the entire island. Prior to that Ike blew into Turks and Caicos at a Cat 4 with winds as high as 135 mph.

Ike Skirting Along Southern Coast Of Cuba

The first thought that comes to mind is that these people have no place to evacuate to. When Gustav hit Cuba at least people were able to move from the west to teh eastern half of the country. On a small island such as Turks, there is no place to go and once Ike hit eastern Cuba, the entire island was placed in a waiting game waiting for their turn for high winds, heavy rains and flooding.

Ike is not a Category 1 storm with 80 mph sustained winds located just off the southern coast of Cuba. A second landfall on the western portion of the island is expected this morning. (See ISMET graphic in the post below).

Once Ike passes Cuba, he is headed for the Texas coast. Current projections show that the most likely location for landfall is somewhere between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. Timing for landfall is over the early part of the weekend. I have noticed that the projected storm track for Ike continues to move westward, initially predicting landfall in southern Florida and slowly moving further west in the Gulf. The computer models still so not show a clear converged path so the entire texas coast hast to be prepared. A few models are showing a more northerly path, most are heading towards South Texas with a couple in northern Mexico and one path still heading up towards Louisiana. This storm has been very unpredicatable more than a couple of days out.



The National Hurricane Center also predicts that Ike will intensify to at least a Cat 3 once in the Gulf. Texas Governor Perry has issued a pre-disaster declaration for 90 counties and placed 7,500 National Guard troops and stand by. Evacuation plans are being made now with possible evacuations beginning by mid week.

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