By Ann Curry, NBC News Anchor
Ann Curry here, in for Brian tonight, worrying whether enough people have evacuated from the Texas coast.
Listen to the details coming into our newsroom:
-the storm is expected to be 400 miles wide when it strikes the coast
-13 million people are in the affected area
-while Galveston evacuated, Houston, the nation's 4th largest city, did not. And because Houston has areas on the water's edge not protected by a sea wall, the surge is a worry there
-the surge could be about 20 feet. That's higher than the seawall in Galveston
Bottom line, lives are in danger, and so if you are the direct path of this hurricane, remember experts advise the safest place is indoors, in your bathtub, protected by a mattess.
Even if you are not in the hurricane zone, Ike is going to affected your life. In what a producer here called an "Ike spike," gas prices are soaring today, because the storm is moving toward the mass of refineries on the Texas coast.
Janet Shamlian has tape of dramatic oast guard rescues alreading in progress, Kerry Sanders, our resident storm expert, has more details on the impact on oil refineries, and we will also have an expert forcaster live, with up to the minute info on the hurricane's movements.
Landfall, once predicted for tomorrow morning, is now expected as early as tonight.
We will be here very late, staying on top of this story, our fingers crossed that not all that is predicted comes true.
See you on tv.