The best news of all, I think, is that it's not going to be a strong as they originally thought. Probably a Category 2 instead of a Category 4, like they thought days ago.
This is good news for us.
The bad news: this storm is going to hit Houston/Galveston very, very hard. I am watching the weather channel right now, and it's not looking good. I mentioned storm surges yesterday - the more room a hurricane has to build up a surge, the worse it is. Ike has had the entire gulf. The forecast surge is 20' or so, which is higher than the seawall down in Galveston. And Galveston already has flooding due to the waves (distinct from the surge).
So you are probably going to see reports of widespread devastation down here. I expect billions and billions of dollars of damage. I expect Galveston and other close-by cities to be crushed. And - here's the really big deal - what this storm lacks in pure intensity it makes up for with its massive, massive size, so you are going to see damage all through the South.
(Indeed, Mississippi and Louisiana currently are experiencing tornadoes as a result of Ike).
I will probably not be sleeping tonight, so I will live-blog the storm until power goes out (maybe not until tomorrow morning). After that, I will try to post via my blackberry - as long as the data services remain up.