Fun times will abound this weekend as Hurricane Ike passes over my home state. I live in a city that is in the current projected path of the storm, but we don't expect anything more than some high winds and flash flooding. The storm will have died out quite a bit by the time it gets here. My latest weather reports are telling me to expect winds up to 35-45 MPH, with gusts up to 55 MPH; and around 4 inches of rain (at least). My family lives farther to the south than I do, but they're just to the west of the eye of the storm; though I expect they'll get their share of stormy weather too.
The storm is really something to behold. Lower Galveston was already flooded by around 2 or 3 this afternoon, and the main part of the storm won't even hit until 12-2 am this morning. Upper Galveston, which is protected by a sea wall, will likely flood as well once the storm hits land. I think just about the whole town is out of power right now. A mandatory evacuation is in effect for Galveston, though I hear about 40% of the population chose to ignore it, even with warnings of "imminent and certain death." That would certainly be enough for me to get the hell out of town, but I guess it's not enough for everyone. Houston residents were told to stay put in an effort to avoid deaths caused by mass evacuation (like during Hurricane Rita a few years ago).
I don't expect to lose any power where I live, as we live near a major airport. But the building's cable box downstairs is open again, so I'm sure all the wind and rain will cut out our cable and Internet (not that it's ever that great to begin with; the company is due another call from us soon).
If you're interested in seeing the power of the storm, there are some excellent videos to be found here, and all the major news stations are following the storm as well.