All Eyes on Ike as Hanna Skirts the East Coast

by Jay Gray

NBC News

All along the East Coast, thousands are drying out and cleaning up after Tropical Storm Hanna.

Meanwhile from Florida to the Gulf Coast, the concern has turned to Hurricane Ike.

Hanna whipped the eastern seaboard. Winds over 50 miles an hour, snapped power lines, leaving thousands in the dark.
 
And soaking rains left flash flooding inland from the Carolinas through New York.

As Hanna quickly moves on, and out, Ike is moving in.

"This is a very dangerous hurricane, and we know that tropical storm conditions could arrive in south Florida and the keys as soon as Monday evening," said meteorologist Ben Nelson.
 
Evacuations have started in the Keys.
 
Storm barriers are going up, along with nerves, for thousands in Florida, as the state prepares for what could be a major strike.

"People need to stay vigilant, stay aware, monitor the media, this could still be a major storm for this community," said Broward County Florida Emergency Operations Director Chuck Lanza.   
That concern and danger is spreading as the storm continues to move to the southwest, the battered Gulf Coast is now in the potential strike zone.

Which means millions across the region will spend the weekend watching, working, and waiting for Ike.

Ike is a strong category four hurricane, and forecasters say it could intensify before making landfall on Tuesday or Wednesday.