Hurricane warning, mandatory evacuations issued ahead of Ike

HOUSTON (AP) - The mayor of Galveston, Texas, has ordered a mandatory evacuation of the island city and a hurricane warning is in effect for most of the Texas coast ahead of Hurricane Ike's projected arrival this weekend.

Mandatory evacuation orders have also been issued for tens of thousands of people in low-lying areas of Harris County, where Houston is located. Evacuation orders are also in effect for an area home to more than 320,000 people between Houston and the Louisiana state line.

The stronger side of the storm is currently projected to hit the area surrounding the Houston. One meteorologist says Ike's surge could affect at least 100 miles of the Texas coast.

A city spokesman tells The Associated Press that it expects "to see some flooding based solely on the surge in some low-lying areas." The city's skyscrapers, the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson Space Center lie in areas that could be vulnerable to wind and flooding from the storm.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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