Ike weakens to a tropical storm over eastern Texas

Saturday, September 13th 2008, 2:16 pm
By: News 9

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- Ike has weakened to a tropical storm over eastern Texas, but winds remain near 60 mph and heavy rains and tornadoes are still a threat.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm's center is just southeast of Palestine, Texas, and moving toward the north near 16 mph.

Ike made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane over Galveston at 3:10 a.m. EDT. Roads in that part of the state are still impassable and emergency crews are just starting to assess the damage.

The storm's first fatality was a woman killed north of Houston when a tree fell on her home. Officials don't know how many other people have died.

Millions in Texas and Louisiana are without power. The storm surge topped out at 13.5 feet, lower than forecasters feared.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)