The news so far: Hurricane Ike pounded through southeast Texas early this morning packing winds of more than 110 mph at a strong Category 2 storm. Thousands of homes and government buildings have been flooded, roads made impassable by washouts, and there are widespread power outages affecting about 2.9 million people, the Associated Press reports. Authorities are still concerned for the safety of an estimated 140,000 people in four counties near where the storm made landfall who did not evacuate.

Large search and rescue operations are under way as thousands of 911 calls for help have been received in the last 24 hours. "We'll probably do the largest search and rescue operation that's ever been conducted in the state of Texas," Andrew Barlow, spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, told the AP.

The hurricane drove a wall of water over Galveston and submerged a 17-foot sea wall built to protect the city after a 1900 hurricane killed at least 8,000 people. Only half of its 60,000 residents had fled and emergency operations were suspended through the storm, reports Reuters.

Even before Ike made landfall, Coast Guard helicopters had rescued 103 people in the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston Island, reports the AP. "We don't know what we are going to find. We hope we will find the people who are left here alive and well," Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas told the AP. "We are keeping our fingers crossed all the people who stayed on Galveston Island managed to survive this."

The AP reports that in southeastern Louisiana near Houma, Ike breached several levees, and flooded more than 1,800 homes. More than 160 people had to be rescued from sites of severe flooding, and Gov. Bobby Jindal said he expected those numbers to grow.

Three deaths so far in Texas have been attributed to the storm, CNN reports. But officials said they would have to wait for the worst of the storm to subside before knowing the complete human toll.