This satellite image of Hurricane Ike, shows how far out cloud bands can extend. You can see clouds from the storm reaching from Belize to Cuba, Florida, and the New Orleans area. There are not storm conditions out this far, but the system itself is quite large. With the storm now projected to make landfall near Freeport, Texas, my thoughts turn to my parents who live in Houston. They are in their 70s and less mobile than they once were, so I always have concern when a hurricane enters the Gulf. I can say that I am glad for modern satellite imagery and weather radar, which gives advance warning and gives one time to make preparations. In earlier times, there were no such forecasting tools. The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 killed about 8,000 people. Despite the seawall, a huge storm today could put Galveston Island under the water even today.
So while I am glad to be living at over a mile above sea level and a thousand miles inland, I am keeping an eye on the situation. For all of you on the Texas coast; evacuate if you are in a storm surge area or live in a mobile home; otherwise "hunker down" as they say down there. And stay away from parts of your homes near trees.