Probably not since the days of World War II and the 1950s in American politics, has this famous nickname drawn such acute attention from the American people.
Born in Texas, Dwight David Eisenhower rose to prominence during WW-II to become the General of the Army and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, and presided over the defeat of German forces in that theater of the war.
In 1952, “IKE” was elected the 34th President of the United States, and then was re-elected in 1956.
Eisenhower “Ike” and his wife, Mamie, retired to a Pennsylvania farm adjacent to where the pivotal battle of the American Civil War was fought on July 2, 3 & 4, 1863, at Gettysburg.
Now, the “IKE” nickname is again prominently in the news, this time as a Category 4 Hurricane, on track to ravage the entire east coast of Cuba, and then become the second hurricane in the past two weeks to enter the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the Gulf Coast of the United States.
As is usual at this stage of the hurricane’s progress west, it is too early to tell where the eye of IKE may make landfall. As the computer models above illustrate, IKE could go several directions, including towards the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Most of the models have tracks moving towards the Texas coastline.
Here at the Center, we stand ready to implement client evacuation plans again, if IKE heads this way. Much of the cleanup of debris from Hurricane Gustav has been accomplished. And, the two shrimp boats deposited on Shaggy’s entrance road in the Pass Christian harbor, have been removed and Shaggy’s is open for business again.
Locally, some houses remain that have their windows still boarded over, although most businesses have removed their boards, and put them back into storage until next time.
Once IKE leaves Cuba and enters the Gulf, its track will be more positively defined, and perhaps we will have a better idea if it is, in fact, headed in our direction.
Until then, we continue to anxiously wait. And watch the Weather Channel. And check the models at the National Hurricane Center and WeatherUnderground.
With more folks around here starting to exhibit signs of a bit of Hurricane Fatigue, as well as some unpleasant flashback memories of Hurricane Katrina, the next few days of waiting will not be easy ones.
IKE, we loved and respected where your name came from, but we don’t like who you are now.