Posted By RichC on September 10, 2008
Hurricane Ike is growing stronger as it heads across the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday after killing at least 80 people in the Caribbean and toppling aging building in Havana Cuba. Forecasters said the Category 1 storm could grow into a major Category 3 or 4 before targeting somewhere along the Texas coastline or northern Mexico on Saturday. Texas put 7,500 National Guard members on standby and urged coastal residents to stock up on supplies and at least one coastal community has issued mandatory evacuations. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management agency still was uncertain about the timing of evacuations along the coast.
Ike’s possible threat to Gulf oil installations didn’t keep crude oil prices from dipping to US$102.40 a barrel in Wednesday morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. I took a look at the oil platform map of the Gulf of Mexico and it shows just how precarious U.S. Oil industry interests are with a hurricane bearing down on the area. Most experts agree that the current track puts the strongest winds south, but even the smallest wobble could move Ike north and into the heart of the Texas and Louisiana platforms. As I post this, Ike is moving northwest at 8 mph and is 220 miles west-southwest of Key West Florida; sustained winds near the ‘well formed’ eye are at 90 mph or a Category 1 storm.