I don't like IKE. Hurricane Ike is a storm as big as Texas, literally, and it's heading straight for my home town, Houston. This is one of the biggest (but not strongest) hurricanes in modern history.
The governor of Texas said that anyone near the coast in a 1-2 story home faces certain death. That's a pretty dire warning, but it's because of the "storm surge."
When a hurricane travels over the ocean, it literally sucks up the water into itself. The level of the sea under the hurricane is significantly higher than the level of the sea outside the hurricane. This creates something like a slow tsunami. It doesn't come crashing in as one wave. The water level just keeps rising as the hurricane comes in. The storm surge for IKE is expected to be 20-25 feet (7-8 meters). That will only affect the areas within several miles from the coast, I think, but still it's huge. The island beach where I played almost every summer is already under 8 feet (2.7 meters) of water.
So, my Mom is packing up and heading out of town pretty soon. She is well out of harm's way now - on her way to Arkansas to visit her parents. My sister, April, is down in MacAllen, in south Texas, with our cousin Twila. They should be safe, but any prayers for people and homes in the path of IKE would be great.