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Sue Cifelli

Texas faces 'catastrophic' storm - 0 views

    Waves from Hurricane Ike lash Texas coast Texas faces "potentially catastrophic" damage when Hurricane Ike hits in the next few hours, US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has warned. He said as many as 100,000 homes could be destroyed by flooding. There are fears the hurricane could cause a high storm surge that leaves miles of low-lying coast underwater. Residents of the Texan coastal city of Galveston face "certain death" if they do not evacuate, the National Weather Service has warned. Hurricane Ike could have 'catastrophic effects' At 0000 GMT on Saturday, the "very large" hurricane was about 100 miles (160km) south-east of Galveston, with winds around 110 mph (175km/h). The massive system is already buffeting Texas and causing flooding along the Louisiana coast, still recovering from last weekend's Hurricane Gustav. More than a million people in Texas have been advised to leave their homes before Ike hits late on Friday or early Saturday morning. But people in Houston city have been told to shelter at home, board up their properties and stockpile supplies. Authorities are trying to avoid a repeat of 2005, when some 110 people in Houston died during a chaotic evacuation in the face of Hurricane Rita. Enlarge Map The US National Hurricane Center said Ike could grow from a Category Two to a Category Three storm - a "major hurricane" - by the time it reaches the coast. Ike has already caused devastation in Cuba and Haiti, where hundreds of people have died in several tropical storms over the last month. The hurricane's predicted path will take it through Galveston and on to Houston, home to America's biggest oil refinery and Nasa's Johnson Space Center. "Our nation is facing what is by any means a potentially catastrophic hurricane," said Mr Chertoff. Latest Hurricane Ike weather forecast He added: "This storm is so big in fact that its impact is already being felt all along the Gulf Coast." The Texas authorities have laid on more t
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