Ike intensifies, Texas begins evacuations
Hurricane Ike now covers about half the Gulf of Mexico, a big, strengthening storm that is already about as big as its next target - Texas. Top sustained winds are running at 100 mph, with further strengthening to Category 3 expected tonight. Forecasters are talking about Cat. 3 or 4 winds of 130-135 mph just before landfall.
The exact point of landfall doesn't matter too much when hurricane winds extend 90 miles from the storm's center. It's best to get out of the way. Texans have already begun to evacuate low-lying coastal areas, with Corpus Christi increasingly in the storm's crosshairs.
Hurricane watches were posted this afternoon for most of the Texas coastline, with Tropical Storm warnings up for Louisiana's coast.