McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Emergency officials in Texas are ready to
order 1 million people evacuated from the impoverished Rio Grande
Valley ahead of Hurricane Ike.
Forecasts show Ike blowing ashore this weekend somewhere along
the Texas Gulf Coast, possibly as a major hurricane. It's picking
up strength as it moves over the warmer waters of the Gulf after
ripping through Cuba and now has top winds of 80 miles-an-hour.
Texas officials have lined up nearly 1,000 buses in case they're
As of 11 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, Ike's center was about 120 miles west of Havana.
Texas emergency planning officials met throughout the day Tuesday and are considering a mandatory evacuation for coastal counties close to the Mexican border. If they do order one, they would have to convince tens of thousands of illegal immigrants that they have less to fear from the Border Patrol than from the storm.
Federal authorities say they won't check people's immigration status at evacuation loading zones or inland checkpoints. But residents remain skeptical.