From the KTRE Live Doppler 9 Weather Center...Power outages are being reported along FM 706 in Angelina county, and in Hudson, Groveton and Zavalla. Emergency personnel in Lufkin are also getting reports of tree damage. For safety reasons emergency crews are forced to standdown until Ike makes its way through and the weather settles down before tackling those problems.
Rain and strong winds have moved into East Texas as Ike keeps its track inland. Most of East Texas is under flash flood and tornado watches.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Ike has blasted ashore as a Category 2 storm over Galveston, Texas.
Even though the real toll won't be known until daybreak, it's already clear that Hurricane Ike has caused extensive damage to Texas coastal areas Officials say thousands of homes have flooded, roads are washed out and several fires burned unchecked because the storm prevented crews from reaching them.
Tornado and flash flood watches are in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday. The winds have gradually increased and are expected to be sustained from 30-70 mph, with gusts higher than that throughout the day.
Isolated tornadoes are possible and so is heavy rain. The worst part of the storm is expected to hit the southern part of the KTRE-TV viewing area in Polk County between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., and by 6 a.m. the storm should become widespread and cover most of the central part of East Texas in the Angelina - Nacogdoches county areas.
High wind and rain will continue through the day on Saturday. The weather should improve by late Sunday.