Posted Sept. 12, 2008 – “Stay and die” is the warning from weather officials who say that Hurricane Ike, which is steaming toward the Texas Gulf Coast, could be a deadly monster as sinister as his evil cousin, Katrina.
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"All neighborhoods ... and possibly entire coastal communities ... will be inundated during the period of peak storm tide," the advisory from the National Weather Service said. "Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single-family one- or two-story homes will face certain death."
Officials caution that Galveston Bay could be slammed by a water wall of 15 to 22 feet. This is the kind of storm, like Hurricane Katrina three years ago, that’s destined for the history books, as forecasters are predicting that the 700-mile-wide behemoth will reach Category 4 strength, with winds churning at 135 miles per hour, by landfall and ravage up to 40 percent of the U.S. Gulf Coast. In nearby areas, such as the Matagorda Bay and the shoreline from Sargent to High Island, water levels of 5 to 8 feet are expected.
"Do not take this storm lightly," Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Thursday afternoon. "This is not a storm to gamble with. It is large; it is powerful; it carries a lot of water. Unless you're fatigued with living, I suggest you want to take seriously a storm of this size and scale. This is not a game of chicken with Mother Nature."