The monstrous Category Two storm Hurricane Ike made landfall Saturday morning, flooding parts of coastal Texas and sending the major news outlets into continuous coverage. Storm-weary reporters ventured into the path of Ike's high winds and pounding rains, which flooded Galveston, Houston and other evacuated areas.
The New York Times reports that on Friday, Fox News' Geraldo Rivera took refuge with police in Galveston's San Luis Hotel, a 16-story-building that stands as the highest point in the city. Galveston was submerged under four feet of water as of 10 a.m. EST on Saturday, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, NBC meteorologist Jeff Ranieri said his crew had to change its live-shoot location three times on Friday morning to "outrun the water." "I've never seen storm surge as powerful as we're seeing this morning," Ranieri said on MSNBC Friday.
The Times adds that CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano stayed on the second floor of a Clute, Texas, building that he and his colleagues re-dubbed the "CNN Hotel." "Management left us the keys. They went north," Marciano said.
The full extent of the lives claimed and damage wrought by the storm are not yet known, but CBS affiliate KHOU reports that a one-foot deep "rushing river" overtook the streets of Houston. Meanwhile, Fox News reports that Ike's driving rains left "thousands of homes and government buildings" flooded.
Everyone's biggest concern, the human toll, remains unclear. CBS News says that one-million people evacuated coastal Texas, but nearly 90,000 stayed behind.
"The unfortunate truth is we're going to have to go in ... and put our people in the tough situation to save people who did not choose wisely. We'll probably do the largest search and rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," a spokesman for Gov. Rick Perry said.