You want your warnings of catastrophe? We got `em right here.
From CNN: "Forecasters warned Ike would bring "certain death" to anyone who remained in Galveston Bay homes. Rarely do forecasters use such forceful language."
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Weather Underground's Jeff Masters: "We must assume Ike will intensify to a Category 3 hurricane by landfall, which would likely do $20-$30 billion in damage. Ike's storm surge is going to be affect a huge area and be tremendously destructive."
And the Galveston office of the National Weather Service, expanding on the "certain death" quote:
All neighborhoods... and possibly entire coastal communities... will be inundated during high tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be swamped... some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property damage... with massive destruction of homes... including those of block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to repair.
Again, this is for homes and areas along the coast, which should have been evacuated already. It doesn't mean the storm surge is going to reach the Galleria like some scene out of The Day After Tomorrow.