East Texans advised to prepare now for Ike

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The view from the south loop overpass in Nacogdoches creates memories of Hurricane Rita. Now it's Hurricane Ike bringing north bound traffic to a creep. No talk of contra flow yet, but the possibility has emergency workers concerned. Just in case, mark your routes now for heading south on 59 from as far north as 259 could become impossible.

A family from Kemah knew to make the trip before dawn.  The same place they lived for a week during hurricane Rita. Tami prestidge thought is,   " Rather be safe than sorry, especially having animals and stuff like that, you don't want to stay in bad weather." They brought small to large animals to the expo center. Turtles, a dashund, and two horses were part of their menagerie.

When guests come you clean. No different with shelters. Volunteers are accepting evacuees, just like they did two weeks ago during Gustav. Volunteer Dee Kirkley said,  " It's just the weather. We can't control it. It's mother nature and we just have to roll with the flow." the increase in population puts a strain on services. Local residents are learning not to take for granted. Lines to gasoline stations began forming early this morning. One man was filling a tank.  " I'm needing it for my mower. I want to mow before it starts raining.   I'm a Navy guy, so I'm preparing for every contingency, so we're covered. " Another shopper loading groceries into her car said,  " Water, lots of can goods. That's what I'm buying."

If you can remember Hurricane Rita, you have a good idea what Ike might bring. Nacogdoches Police Department Sgt. Greg Sowell said,  " We could have tropical storm force winds and that's pretty much what we experienced with Rita. " You may remember how miserable that week was. This time be sure and prepare ahead.

Sheriff Thomas Kerss wants county residents to know that assistance will be available if the situation gets as bad as Rita did. His advice is to prepare for the worse and hope for the best.