Ike Breaching Levees in Louisiana

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Officials in Louisiana say Hurricane Ike is already creating "a bad situation." Its tidal surge is breaching levees in the southwestern part of the state.

The National Hurricane Center says Ike is about 135 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, and is expected to make landfall late tonight or early tomorrow. Top winds remain near 105 miles-per-hour and the storm could still strenghten to a Category 3.

Forecasters say Ike is about 600 miles across, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 120 miles from the eye. Storm surge flooding of 20 feet or more is possible.  Waves have been crashing over Galveston's seawall all afternoon and flooding has been reported in a number of low-lying coastal communities.

Authorities in the coastal town of Surfside Beach, Texas, say all but one person has left, with the water reaching five-feet deep in some places by midday.  In Louisiana, the levee breaches are threatening the homes of thousands of people including fishermen, oil field workers and farmers. Crews have been trying to plug at least four of the levees.