Photo of Hurricane Ike from the International Space Station, courtesy of NASA
No, not the Yankees. They haven't even started playing yet. (Rain delay.) Hurricane Ike. It's definitely headed straight for Houston, and it's a monster. The winds aren't as bad as Rita, but storm surge is going to be tremendous. It's already flooding parts of Louisiana, and they're nowhere near the eye. Galveston started flooding when Ike was still 200 miles away.
Ike is heading right at the nation's petrochemical nerve center
. Oil refineries are not running, either because they've been evacuated, or because they're cut off from their power supplies due to the hurricane. (This may not improve for awhile. Many refineries will be flooded by Ike, and some experts are predicting Ike will cause the worst electricity blackout in US history.) The gas shortage is already being felt in some places, especially the southeast and parts of the midwest. Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida are reporting scattered shortages. Some stations in North Carolina are trying to limit purchases to 10 gallons a customer.
, the governor has declared a state of emergency:
Governor Bob Riley on Friday afternoon declared a state of emergency for Alabama after he received new information from the U.S. Department of Energy that energy shortages will likely occur in the state due to Hurricane Ike.
The Governor’s declaration notes that “disruption of essential utility services, systems and severe energy shortages will likely occur.”
So has the governor of Kentucky
Prices have already spiked to $5/gallon in many places. Don't say I didn't warn ya!
And for those of you who have been worrying about Bubba...I'm sure he and his family will be fine. Near as I can tell, Bellaire is not in one of the evacuation zones. According to Google, it is 57' above sea level, which should be well above even the worst storm surge.