September 12th, 2008
12:03 PM ET

For Ike, the reality may be worse than the warning

Susan Roesgen
CNN Correspondent

"Certain death"– that's what the latest National Weather Service bulletin says will happen to those who don't heed the warning to get away from Hurricane Ike as it blasts away at the Texas coast.

The language in that bulletin is shocking– and it should scare the pants off of anyone within range of it. Take it from me, the reality may be even worse than the warning.

That bulletin reminds me of the one that Robert Ricks sent out the day before Hurricane Katrina.

Ricks was the National Weather Service officer on duty in Slidell, Louisiana, responsible for sending the official Katrina forecast.

Ricks' bulletin predicted much the same–widespread damage, property loss, uninhabitable homes, flooding– and death.

The warning was so dire that Ricks' higherups in DC questioned him about it–but he stuck by it. And as we all know, the reality of Katrina was even worse than that dire warning.

Ricks– like any meterologist–is a man of science. But he told me that, for some reason, he did something the day he put out the warning–something he had never done before.

He brought a rosary to work.

Ricks' warning of Katrina's wrath.. and his rosary... are now in the Smithsonian Museum.

Filed under: Hurricane Ike • Susan Roesgen
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Rob

    The hurricane scale is based on max wind speeds. While the max wind speeds are low, this is a huge, powerful hurricane, that will take some time to dissipate. They are projecting a catagory 1 storm close to dallas, that's 4 hours away by car. That gives you some idea of the damage this storm can do. The worst is Galveston, due to storm surge. The surge is much higher than a normal catagory, its more like a cat 4. Outside of the storm surge area there will be wind/rain flood damage, which isn't nothing to sneeze at, but not as likely to be fatal as a massive storm surge. People will die in this storm, I am guessing hundreds.

    September 12, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  2. Nick D... Gulf Coast MS

    The wind speeds are way over dramatized. The storm surge is what takes lives.

    September 12, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  3. Mike L.

    Right now I see that it is forecast to be a category 2 and downgrade to 1 before landfall.

    The pictures make it look like a category 4 sized surge. 20+ feet

    What is going on here? Seems like the categorization is messed-up.

    September 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Cindy

    I can't believe that even though this warning was issued that people still are going to ride out the storm. That to me is just flat out crazy!! Especially when they are saying there is "certain death" to those that stay.


    September 12, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  5. cwm9

    Still, you know for a fact that some people will stay. We can jump up and down, yell, beat our chests, do everything possible to let them know - and should - but, in the end, some fools will insist on having a date with Darwin.

    September 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Julie San Diego, CA


    All of you out there stay safe. This is sounding pretty bad. Maybe all of us need to get our rosaries out.

    Did you know you can download the rosary to your I-pod now?

    Hope Mother Nature gets in a better mood. Take care.

    September 12, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  7. K Gutierrez

    how about a few reports on how NO is faring with the flood gates having to close again today for Ike's storm surge?

    September 12, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  8. alex


    September 12, 2008 at 2:40 pm |