Texas Residents Preparing for Hurricane Ike

by Jay Gray

NBC News

Texas residents are preparing for the possible arrival of Hurricane Ike.

The storm has cleared Cuba and is out over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Ike has jumped up to a Category 2 storm and is still gaining and intensity.

Bob Catalano is doing what he can to prepare by moving most of his things upstairs before Ike moves in.

"It's gonna bury me if it comes, bury me," he said.  "We'll get a tidal surge of five to six feet of water."

It's a scenario that has millions along the Gulf Coast worried and working to stay safe.

"If we have to leave we'll probably have to leave sometime on Thursday to get out of here ahead of time," said Galveston resident Justin Presnal.

There are no mandatory evacuation orders yet, but a fleet of buses is on standby, ready to roll to the potential strike zone and move thousands to higher ground.

Unfortunately Ike has been tracking a bit to the north, putting even more of the Texas coast in the danger zone and making it even more difficult for emergency managers to decide where and when large scale evacuations should begin.