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Milenko Kindl chases Ike

P: n/a
Milenko Kindl

HOUSTON - The frail and elderly were put aboard buses Wednesday and
authorities warned 1 million others to flee inland as Hurricane Ike
steamed toward a swath of the Texas coast that includes the nation's
largest concentration of refineries and chemical plants.
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Drawing energy from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the
strengthening storm was expected to blow ashore early Saturday
somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston, with some forecasts
saying it could become a fearsome Category 4, with winds of at least
131 mph.

Such a storm could cause a storm surge of 18 feet in Matagorda Bay and
four to eight feet in Galveston Bay, emergency officials warned. The
surge in Galveston Bay could push floodwaters into Houston, damaging
areas that include the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson
Space Center.

Four counties south and east of Houston announced mandatory or
voluntary evacuations, and authorities began moving weak and
chronically ill patients by bus to San Antonio, about 190 miles from
Houston. No immediate evacuations were ordered in Harris County, which
includes Houston.

Johnny Greer, a 54-year-old retired plant operator at Dow Chemical
Corp., boarded up his house a mile from the Gulf of Mexico in Brazoria
County and planned to hit the road.

"Gas and stuff is high. But you can't look at all that," he said. "I
think my life is more valuable than high gas prices."

About 1 million people live in the coastal counties between Corpus
Christi and Galveston. An additional 4 million live in the Houston
area, to the north.

The oil and gas industry watched the storm closely, fearing damage to
the very heart of its operations.

Texas is home to 26 refineries that account for one-fourth of U.S.
refining capacity, and most are clustered along the Gulf Coast in such
places as Houston, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s
plant in Baytown, outside Houston, is the nation's largest refinery.
Dow Chemical has a huge operation just north of Corpus Christi.

Refineries are built to withstand high winds, but flooding can disrupt
operations and as happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav
power outages can shut down equipment for days or weeks. An extended
shutdown could lead to higher gasoline prices.

As always, some hardened old-timers decided to ride it out. Fourth-
generation fisherman James Driggers, 47, planned to spend the storm
aboard his 80-foot boat docked in Freeport.

"We like to stay close to our paycheck," he said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, Ike was a Category 2 storm with winds near 100 mph. It
was about 720 miles east of Brownsville, Texas, and was moving
northwest at 8 mph, after ravaging homes in Cuba and killing at least
80 people in the Caribbean.

No matter where Ike hits, its effects are likely to be felt for
hundreds of miles, said Mark Sloan, emergency management coordinator
for Harris County, which includes Houston.

"It's a very large storm," Sloan said. "The bands will be over 200
miles out from the center of storm, so we have to be aware of its size
as it grows over the next 24 to 48 hours and what impacts it will have
on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

Isaias Campos, 27, boarded up the church he attends in Freeport. He
said he was grateful the church planned to evacuate much of the
congregation to Houston by bus.

"If it wasn't for the church, it would be difficult for many of our
members to leave," Campos said.

Milenko Kindl
Banja Luka
Banjaluka
Sep 10 '08 #1
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On Sep 10, 4:27*pm, yuma400...@yahoo.com wrote:
Milenko Kindl

HOUSTON - The frail and elderly were put aboard buses Wednesday and
authorities warned 1 million others to flee inland as Hurricane Ike
steamed toward a swath of the Texas coast that includes the nation's
largest concentration of refineries and chemical plants.
ADVERTISEMENT

Drawing energy from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the
strengthening storm was expected to blow ashore early Saturday
somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston, with some forecasts
saying it could become a fearsome Category 4, with winds of at least
131 mph.

Such a storm could cause a storm surge of 18 feet in Matagorda Bay and
four to eight feet in Galveston Bay, emergency officials warned. The
surge in Galveston Bay could push floodwaters into Houston, damaging
areas that include the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson
Space Center.

Four counties south and east of Houston announced mandatory or
voluntary evacuations, and authorities began moving weak and
chronically ill patients by bus to San Antonio, about 190 miles from
Houston. No immediate evacuations were ordered in Harris County, which
includes Houston.

Johnny Greer, a 54-year-old retired plant operator at Dow Chemical
Corp., boarded up his house a mile from the Gulf of Mexico in Brazoria
County and planned to hit the road.

"Gas and stuff is high. But you can't look at all that," he said. "I
think my life is more valuable than high gas prices."

About 1 million people live in the coastal counties between Corpus
Christi and Galveston. An additional 4 million live in the Houston
area, to the north.

The oil and gas industry watched the storm closely, fearing damage to
the very heart of its operations.

Texas is home to 26 refineries that account for one-fourth of U.S.
refining capacity, and most are clustered along the Gulf Coast in such
places as Houston, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s
plant in Baytown, outside Houston, is the nation's largest refinery.
Dow Chemical has a huge operation just north of Corpus Christi.

Refineries are built to withstand high winds, but flooding can disrupt
operations and as happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav
power outages can shut down equipment for days or weeks. An extended
shutdown could lead to higher gasoline prices.

As always, some hardened old-timers decided to ride it out. Fourth-
generation fisherman James Driggers, 47, planned to spend the storm
aboard his 80-foot boat docked in Freeport.

"We like to stay close to our paycheck," he said.

At 5 p.m. EDT, Ike was a Category 2 storm with winds near 100 mph. It
was about 720 miles east of Brownsville, Texas, and was moving
northwest at 8 mph, after ravaging homes in Cuba and killing at least
80 people in the Caribbean.

No matter where Ike hits, its effects are likely to be felt for
hundreds of miles, said Mark Sloan, emergency management coordinator
for Harris County, which includes Houston.

"It's a very large storm," Sloan said. "The bands will be over 200
miles out from the center of storm, so we have to be aware of its size
as it grows over the next 24 to 48 hours and what impacts it will have
on Friday, Saturday and Sunday."

Isaias Campos, 27, boarded up the church he attends in Freeport. He
said he was grateful the church planned to evacuate much of the
congregation to Houston by bus.

"If it wasn't for the church, it would be difficult for many of our
members to leave," Campos said.

Milenko Kindl
Banja Luka
Banjaluka
Sep 11 '08 #2

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