UNDATED (AP) - President Bush today declared an emergency exists
in Texas as Hurricane Ike barrels through the Gulf of Mexico toward
The declaration clears the way for federal aid to bolster state
and local response efforts.
Governor Rick Perry already has declared disaster areas for 88
counties, as forecasters say Ike could reach Texas by early
Bush's action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency
to coordinate disaster relief efforts. Bush's order specifically
-- Aransas, Brazoria, Brooks, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Fort
Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Harris, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jefferson, Jim
-- Kenedy, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Orange, Refugio,
San Patricio, Victoria, Wharton and Willacy counties.
Texas emergency officials are considering whether to order a
mandatory evacuation of coastal counties as Ike approaches.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)