Houston Issues weeklong Curfew after Hurricane Ike

Houston issues weeklong curfew after Hurricane Ike

 Associated Press – September 14, 2008 9:44 AM ET

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) – Houston officials have issued a weeklong curfew for the city devastated by Hurricane Ike.

Officials announced that a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew would begin Sunday night and last until Saturday. Most of the city has lost electricity, streets are littered with debris, and police are worried about the safety of residents.

Police say residents should not be on the streets during the curfew unless it's an emergency.

Ike slammed the southeast Texas coast on Saturday, trapping many people in homes who had stayed behind. Hundreds have had to be rescued and crews are still canvassing neighborhoods inundated by Ike's storm surge.

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Bush declares Ike a major disaster in Louisiana

 Associated Press – September 13, 2008 7:24 PM ET

President Bush has declared Hurricane Ike a major disaster in 10 southwestern Louisiana parishes.

The parishes are Acadia, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Sabine, St. Mary, Vermilion, and Vernon.

The president's declaration makes federal money available to individuals, governments and private nonprofit groups in those parishes.

Individuals can get money for temporary housing and home repairs, and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses.

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Hurricane Ike starts to move away from Houston

Associated Press – September 13, 2008 7:14 AM ET

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) – Hurricane Ike began moving away from Houston and was expected to head northeast toward Arkansas later Saturday, but stubbornly remained a strong Category 2 storm.

Maximum winds decreased slightly to 100 mph, but the storm likely won't be downgraded until later in the day. It was about 15 miles east-northeast of Houston Intercontinental Airport.

It made landfall just after 3 a.m. EDT, carrying winds of 110 mph and lashing the coastal city of Galveston. Officials won't know the extent of damage until they can safely survey the battered landscape.

 

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Ike brings hurricane-force gusts to Texas coast

Associated Press – September 12, 2008 11:04 PM ET

HOUSTON (AP) – Hurricane-force gusts of at least 74 mph are lashing Galveston, Texas, as Hurricane Ike approaches.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm hasn't strengthened in the past few hours as it closes in on the Texas Coast.

But it's on the cusp of major hurricane status as a Category 2 storm with top winds of 110 mph.

Forecasters say the storm's center is about 55 miles southeast of Galveston and moving at about 12 mph. The eye is expected to crash ashore early Saturday.

The storm's already sending towering waves to the Texas coast. Meteorologists expect storm surge as high as 20 feet near where the eye comes ashore.

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Ike knocks out electricity in parts of Louisiana

Associated Press – September 12, 2008 6:14 PM ET

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) – Though Hurricane Ike was taking aim at Texas, it spawned thunderstorms, shut down schools and knocked out power throughout southern Louisiana on Friday. No was reported killed.

An estimated 1,200 people were in state shelters in Monroe and Shreveport, and another 220 in medical needs shelters.

Ike's gusts knocked out power, adding to the state's woes.

Hurricane Gustav caused widespread power outages when it made landfall southwest of New Orleans on Labor Day. Gustav's winds were so powerful they toppled transmission towers and the lights had not been turned on in many places by Friday.

Entergy Corporation says more than 84,500 customers were without electricity. Cleco Corporation reports about 2,000 outages, and Dixie Electric, more than 13,000.

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New Orleans says Houston welcome During Ike 

Associated Press – September 11, 2008 7:34 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans would like to return the favor to Houston. Mayor Ray Nagin says anyone evacuating the Houston area in anticipation of Hurricane Ike is welcome in New Orleans.

Houston set up shelters – including opening the Astrodome – to New Orleans residents fleeing Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thousands of people went to Houston, many staying there for months or even years after Katrina.

Mary Beth Romig, of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the city wants to let the people of Houston and the surrounding area know they are grateful. No shelters have been opened in New Orleans.

But Nagin says there are 13,000 to 15,000 available hotel rooms. He says people should just ask for the “Mayor Ray Nagin special” rate. Romig was unable to say what that rate was, but said summer hotel rates were generally lower in the French Quarter and surrounding areas.

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3 La. universities close for Hurricane Ike

Associated Press – September 11, 2008 6:44 PM ET

Three Louisiana universities are shutting down as Hurricane Ike hurtles along the coast.

McNeese State, Nicholls State, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette canceled Friday classes. All three are expected to reopen on Monday.

McNeese in Lake Charles shut down at noon Thursday, as forecasters said southwest Louisiana should expect high winds when Ike strikes early Saturday.

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Hurricane warning up in SW Louisiana

Associated Press – September 11, 2008 1:04 PM ET

A hurricane warning was issued today from Morgan City in south Louisiana to Baffin Bay, Texas, as Hurricane Ike churned in the Gulf of Mexico on a path that forecasters said would likely bring it ashore on the Texas coast Saturday.

Louisiana, where Labor Day's Hurricane Gustav was blamed for 29 deaths, braced for a brush from the storm, which forecasters predicted would bring from 5 to 10 inches of rain to the southwestern part of the state, as well as the Texas coast. The weather service says some isolated areas could get 15 inches of rain.

East of Morgan City, the Louisiana coast was under a tropical storm warning. Coastal flooding caused by Ike's storm surge was reported in St. Bernard Parish in the southeastern part of the state. High seas and rising storm surges from Ike led to a suspension of work to shore up levees that were damaged by Gustav on Grand Isle, the resort community on a barrier island south of New Orleans.

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Ike growing larger, but hasn't strengthened

Associated Press – September 11, 2008 11:54 AM ET

A hurricane warning has been issued for the Gulf Coast from central Louisiana to most of the Texas coastline.

Ike is getting bigger, but not stronger just yet as it makes its way toward land.

Ike remains a Category 2 storm with winds nearing 100 miles-an-hour. It's expected to strengthen into a major hurricane prior to reaching the coastline.

Forecasters say the center of the storm should be very near the coast by late tomorrow. But since Ike is such a large storm, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 115 miles, Texas will be feeling the its effects long before the center reaches the coast.

As of 10 a.m. Central time, Ike was about 580 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and about 470 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas. It's moving toward the coast at about 10 miles-an-hour.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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