Nearly 1 million people evacuated coastal communities in the days leading up to the storm, tens of thousands ignored calls to leave and decided to tough it out. But as wind-whipped floodwaters began crashing into coastal homes, many changed their minds. Galveston fire crews rescued more than 300 people who were walking through flooded streets, clutching clothes and other belongings as they tried to wade to safety.
"DATA FROM NOAA DOPPLER WEATHER RADARS AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 110 MPH...175 KM/HR... WITH HIGHER GUSTS. IKE IS A STRONG CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE AND COULD REACH THE TEXAS COAST AS A CATEGORY THREE...MAJOR HURRICANE...JUST BEFOR"