Ike barrels towards Texas

Mandatory evacuations are underway for low lying areas in the Houston area and along the Texas coast as the state braces for Hurricane Ike.

The powerful storm is expected to make landfall sometime early Saturday morning.

A possible 15 foot storm surge is now forecast for Galveston Bay and the Port of Houston.

Mandatory evacuations are posted for low lying zip codes that could be flooded by Ike.

San Antonio is a staging area for buses and ambulances to help evacuate people and Medivac aircraft are standing by to go where they're needed.

Around five million people live in Ike's potential path between Corpus Christi and Beaumont.

The Houston-Galveston area saw massive gridlock when it evacuated for Hurricane Rita several years ago.

Texas has laid plans to avoid that again, and Ike will likely put those plans to the test.