I know no one comes here for the weather coverage, but after friends and family went through Charley and Frances, now Ivan is coming after my family again. I think I convinced my dad to leave the Mobile area, but he's as stubborn as a hog on ice sometimes. (My line about needing all the anti-Bush votes we could get may have worked!)
I also talked briefly with friend and baseball writer Keith Scherer, stationed with his family near Biloxi. (Keith is in the USAF.) He's evacuating and gave some indication that the USAF isn't taking chances. Remember, the hurricane hunting planes fly out of Biloxi, so they'd know.
This satellite shot shows us a nasty storm with a defined eye. I'm thinking it might be more like Andrew than Camille (210 mph winds and a massive storm surge), but it's all location. A direct hit is bad, but the location matters significantly for storm surge. Being west of the eye is much better than east. The old saw I heard in my meteorology class was "west you get wet; east you go swimming."
A direct hit or western landing of Ivan would put a massive hurting on New Orleans. News stories are talking about body bags, chemical spills, and biblical plagues like floating balls of fire ants (ick!).
So, if you're reading this and you're on the Gulf Coast, get the hell out of the way. The rest of us ... we'll just hope and pray.