The news today has been overwhelmed by stories about the awful aftermath of Hurricane Ike in the Gulf Coast area, especially East Texas. Search-and-rescue teams have been on 24-hour duty, despite no knowledge of how many are in need of them (or how many luckless others are beyond their help, subject only to search-and-recover efforts).
Millions are without power or potable water; restoring them could take as long as a month in some places, according to Bloomberg.com. Eight American deaths have been confirmed attributable to Ike (five in TX, two in LA, one in AR). A curfew has been imposed by local police in Houston to keep people off the streets at night.