Hurricane Ike is gaining strength and barreling toward the Texas Coast.
Forecasters say Ike could be a category three storm when it makes landfall late tonight or early Saturday morning.
The Texas coast is already taking a pounding and the worst of Ike is still hours away.
"It's going to be a scary 36 hours, said Houston Mayor Bill White.
Water is already rushing in to coastal communities.
The wind is beginning to pick-up.
Ike is a massive storm and growing as it closes in o intense, that the national weather service for the first time since Katrina has issued a dire warning:
Quoting here "coastal residents refusing to evacuate face imminent and certain death."
Officials in texas echo that concern.
"This really is a life or death matter. If you live in the evacuation zone, get out," Harris County Texas Judge Ed Emmett said.
But the time to get out is running out.
"We're going to fight to the last minute to get everybody out," said sergeant Scott Gaspar of the Port Arthur Police Department.
That fight is already underway.
The coast guard pulling survivors from the rushing waters on Bolivar peninsula.
It is a race against the winds that will be well over 100 miles an hour at landfall and the water, a massive storm surge forecasters say could be as high as 25-feet.
"They said it's going to be bad. It's going to be bad. It's time to go," said evacuee Erik Matthison.