The damage from Ike along the Texas-Louisiana coast is obviously quite tragic. Most of the damage was caused by the storm surge and waves combined with the strong winds. Interestingly the winds, it appears, were not quite as high as forecast by the National Hurricane Center. Likewise the storm surge at Galveston Bay was only half of what was forecast, just ten feet rather than the 20 to 25 feet in the forecast.
We can be grateful that the storm surge was not as high as expected. If it had of been, many of the thousands who chose to stay in the hurricanes path would have been killed, drowned is a savage onslaught of wind, water and debris.
From my vantage point in Oklahoma, it seems to me the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and most all other government agencies involved have done a top notch job.