Devastating Ike roars ashore in Galveston

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    xzKinGzxBuRnzx The Feature Man

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    Ike Hurricane

    As some of you may know. Now is not the time to be visiting the USA. As this fierce hurricane roars ashore in Galveston, TX. This hurrican also hit our oil refineres, causing gas to come to a hault for 10 DAYS. The gas is rising quickly and most are already out. If your in the USA, reading this, and not heard the news yet. GO GET GAS BEFORE IT'S ALL GONE. This morning (12th in KY)the gas prices hit 4.29 and raised up a dollar before the day was up. Yahoo News - 4:31 AM Setember 13th​
    GALVESTON, Texas - A massive Hurricane Ike ravaged southeast Texas early Saturday, battering the coast with driving rain and ferocious wind gusts as residents who decided too late they should have heeded calls to evacuate made futile calls for rescue.
    Though it would be daybreak before the storm's toll was clear, already, the damage was extensive. Thousands of homes had flooded, roads were washed out and several fires burned unabated as crews could not reach them. But the biggest fear was that thousands of people had defied orders to flee would need rescue from submerged homes and neighborhoods.

    "The unfortunate truth is we're going to have to go in ... and put our people in the tough situation to save people who did not choose wisely. We'll probably do the largest search and rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," said Andrew Barlow, spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry.
    The eye of the storm powered ashore at 3:10 a.m. EDT at Galveston with 110 mph winds, a strong Category 2 storm.
    More than 1.3 million customers — or 2.9 million people — had lost power, and suppliers warned it could be weeks before all the service was restored. There also was fear winds could shatter the windows of the sparkling skyscrapers that define the skyline of America's fourth-largest city. Forecasters said the worst winds and rain would come after the center came ashore.

    Though 1 million people fled coastal communities near where the storm made landfall, authorities in three counties alone said roughly 90,000 stayed behind. As the front of the storm moved into Galveston, fire crews rescued nearly 300 people who changed their minds and fled at the last minute, wading through floodwaters carrying clothes and other possessions.
    "We don't know what we are going to find. We hope we will find the people who are left here alive and well," Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said. "We are keeping our fingers crossed all the people who stayed on Galveston Island managed to survive this."
    Storm surge was pushing into a neighborhood near Johnson Space Center where Houston Mayor Bill White had made rounds earlier with a bullhorn trying to compel people to leave. Thousands of homes could be damaged, a spokesman for the mayor said, but it was too dangerous to go out and canvass the neighborhood at the height of the storm.
    A landmark restaurant, Brennan's of Houston, was destroyed by flames when firefighters were thwarted by high winds. The restaurant had been a downtown institution for more then four decades.
    On the far east side of Houston, Claudia Macias was awake with her newborn and was trying unsuccessfully not to think about the trees swaying outside her doors, or the wind vibrating through her windows. She had been through other storms, but this time was different because she was a new mother.
    "I don't know who's going to sleep here tonight, maybe the baby," said Macias, 34.

    Before it came ashore, the storm was 600 miles across, nearly as big as Texas itself. Because of the hurricane's size, the state's shallow coastal waters and its largely unprotected coastline, forecasters said the biggest threat would be flooding and storm surge, with Ike expected to hurl a wall of water two stories high — 20 to 25 feet — at the coast.
    Firefighters left three buildings to burn Galveston because water was too high for fire trucks to reach them. Six feet of water had collected in the Galveston County Courthouse on the island's downtown, according to local storm reports on the National Weather Service's Web site.
    But there was some good news: a stranded freighter with 22 men aboard made it through the brunt of the storm safely, and a tugboat was on the way to save them. And an evacuee from Calhoun County gave birth to a baby girl in the restroom of a shelter with the aid of an expert in geriatric psychiatry who delivered his first baby in two decades.
    "It's kind of like riding a bike," Dr. Mark Burns told the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung after he helped Ku Paw welcome her fourth child.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said more than 5.5 million prepackaged meals were being sent to the region, along with more than 230 generators and 5.6 million liters of water. At least 3,500 FEMA officials were stationed in Texas and Louisiana.
    If Ike is as bad as feared, the storm could travel up Galveston Bay and send a surge up the Houston Ship Channel and into the port of Houston. The port is the nation's second-busiest, and is an economically vital complex of docks, pipelines, depots and warehouses that receives automobiles, consumer products, industrial equipment and other cargo from around the world and ships out vast amounts of petrochemicals and agricultural products.

    The storm also could force water up the seven bayous that thread through Houston, swamping neighborhoods so flood-prone that they get inundated during ordinary rainstorms.
    The oil and gas industry was closely watching Ike because it was headed straight for the nation's biggest complex of refineries and petrochemical plants. Wholesale gasoline prices jumped to around $4.85 a gallon for fear of shortages.
    Ike is the first major hurricane to hit a U.S. metropolitan area since Katrina devastated New Orleans three years ago. For Houston, it would be the first major hurricane since Alicia in August 1983 came ashore on Galveston Island, killing 21 people and causing $2 billion in damage. Houston has since then seen a population explosion, so many of the residents now in the storm's path have never experienced the full wrath of a hurricane.
    Though Ike's center was heading for Texas, it spawned thunderstorms, shut down schools and knocked out power throughout southern Louisiana on Friday. An estimated 1,200 people were in state shelters in Monroe and Shreveport, and another 220 in medical needs shelters.
    In southeastern Louisiana near Houma, Ike breached levees, and flooded more than 1,800 homes. More than 160 people had to be rescued from sites of severe flooding, and Gov. Bobby Jindal said he expected those numbers to grow. In some extreme instances, residents of low-lying communities where waters continued to rise continued to refuse National Guard assistance to flee their homes, authorities said.
    No deaths had been officially reported, but crews expected to resume searching at daybreak near Corpus Christi for a man believed swept out to sea as Ike closed in.

    Juan A. Lozano reported from Galveston. Associated Press writers Jim Vertuno in Austin, Eileen Sullivan in Washington, Paul Weber in Dallas, John Porretto, Monica Rohr and Pauline Arrillaga in Houston, Michael Kunzelman in Lake Charles, La., Brian Skoloff in West Palm Beach, Fla., Andre Cote in College Station, and Allen G. Breed and video journalist Rich Matthews in Surfside Beach also contributed.
    (Corrects power outage figures to 2.9 million, not 4 million people.)

    Source

    Far from Ike's path, an aftershock is felt: $5 gas

    HOUSTON - From Florida to Tennessee, and all the way up to Connecticut, people far from Hurricane Ike's destruction nonetheless felt one of its tell-tale aftershocks: gasoline prices that surged overnight — to nearly $5 a gallon in some places.
    Fears of supply shortages, and actual fuel-production disruptions, resulting from Ike's lashing of vital energy infrastructure led to pump price disparities of as much as $1 a gallon in some states, and even on some blocks.
    Late Saturday the U.S. Minerals Management Service said there were two confirmed reports of drilling rigs adrift in the central Gulf of Mexico.
    Compounding the jitters and higher costs for gasoline retailers was the fact that some big refineries along the Gulf Coast had been shut for nearly two weeks following Hurricane Gustav. Power outages caused by Ike threatened to keep millions of gallons of gasoline output idled for at least several days.

    The price of regular gasoline soared as high as $4.99 a gallon in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, up from $3.66 a day earlier.
    In Florida, the attorney general's office reported prices as high as $5.50 a gallon in Tallahassee and said it had received 186 gouging complaints.
    Gov. Charles Crist said on Friday that $5 a gallon "can only be described as unconscionable" and added: "Raising rates to exorbitant levels like this only causes unnecessary panic and fear. This type of behavior will not be tolerated."

    In Connecticut, AAA said average prices jumped 10 cents overnight and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said his office had received complaints of stations charging more than they advertised, raising prices more than twice in a single day and other problems.
    "A lot of it is simply incredible," Blumenthal said, "and a lot of the price increases make no sense economically in terms of supply and demand."
    Prices in California on Saturday ranged from $3.49 to $4.39 per gallon. In the eastern suburbs of Cleveland, gasoline jumped from $3.55 early in the week to $3.79. Regular gasoline at Chicago-area stations averaged $4.12 a gallon.

    The price jumps came after the wholesale price of gasoline soared to $4.85 a gallon Friday in anticipation of Ike's arrival.
    Many stations have contracts to buy gas from suppliers based on prices set by those markets, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service.
    "They aren't gouging; they are simply passing along the wholesale cost," he said. However, a small percentage of stations owned by major oil companies are somewhat insulated from these forces, enabling them to keep prices lower.

    In Knoxville, Tenn., account executive Sharon Cawood said "one of our local gasoline chains called a local TV station Thursday, sometime during the day and said, 'We're running out of gas. We're going up 80 cents a gallon... It caused a major scare.
    "By the time it hit 6 o'clock news and 11 o'clock news it was like snow was falling and milk and bread were flying off the shelves."
    Larry Daugherty, a talk radio host Knoxville's WQBB, said a steady stream of calls began Friday morning from people perplexed about price discrepancies.
    People reported gas was selling for as low as $3.49 a gallon in some spots, and $5 at another.

    "People are outraged," Daugherty said. "Everyone is having a hard time understanding all of this."
    Such market fundamentals could last for another few weeks, depending on how quickly Texas and Louisiana refineries shuttered by Ike can come back on line. "It's a mess," Kloza said.
    Ike shut down 14 Texas refineries with a total capacity of 3.8 million barrels of crude a day, or about 20 percent of the country's total output.
    The average cost for a gallon of gas nationwide could head back toward all-time highs of $4 per gallon, reached over the summer when oil prices climbed toward $150 a barrel.

    Gas prices nationwide rose an average of nearly 6 cents a gallon to $3.733, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. Overnight changes in the national average for gas are usually measured by tenths of a cent.
    "For the prices to be the rate they are now, it's hard for the middle-class working person to survive it," said Glenda Lang, who spent close to $43 to receive the 10-gallon limit at an S-Mart in Columbia, S.C., on Saturday.
    Kloza said prices are more likely to be higher throughout the Southeast because they get fuel from Gulf refineries. He expects nationwide prices to begin falling later in the fall, perhaps as low as $3 a gallon by year's end, based on current oil prices of about $100 per barrel.
    Still, states promised to take action to prevent price gouging, and the Environmental Protection Agency temporarily waived a dozen states' fuel-blending requirements aimed at minimizing air pollution. The action makes it easier for them to use foreign imports.

    "The Department of Energy and state authorities will be monitoring a gasoline crisis so consumers are not being gouged," President Bush said.
    Ike's storm surge was less severe than predicted, potentially sparing refineries from additional flooding. However, the lack of electricity in and around Houston and western Louisiana — major hubs for oil refiners — poses a significant challenge for the energy industry.
    CenterPoint Energy, the main utility in Houston, reported 1.3 million outages Saturday.

    Refineries along the upper Texas Gulf Coast account for about one-fifth of the nation's refining capacity. Exxon Mobil's refinery in Baytown, outside Houston, is the nation's largest. Valero's refineries at Houston, Texas City and Port Arthur remain shut down, and all three have lost power.
    The Sabine Pipe Line, a crucial natural gas conduit, has also been shut down. The CME Group, parent of the New York Mercantile Exchange, declared a force Majeure for all remaining delivery obligations for September natural gas contracts.
    With the storm still pounding southeast Texas well into Saturday afternoon, oil refiners had not yet made thorough inspections to get a clear idea of any damage they may have sustained. They said it was too early to say when the refineries would be restarted.

    Source
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2008

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