(6:19 p.m. EDT) -- The center of Hurricane Ike has moved past Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico. Wind strength has weakened to 75 miles per hour, but the storm is expected to regain strength in the Gulf and possibly become a Category Three storm when it reaches the coast of Texas or Mexico this weekend.
(12:20 p.m. EDT) -- Hurricane Ike -- currently only a Category One hurricane with winds near 80 miles per hour -- made its second landfall in Cuba this morning. According to the National Hurricane Center, at 11 a.m. EDT Ike was located 55 miles southwest of Havana, Cuba.
Ike is moving west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. and is expected to enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. Large swells, flooding and rip currents are possible along southeastern Cuba and the Florida Keys. Heavy rain is also expected in the Cayman Islands.
The hurricane could strengthen as it crosses the Gulf. The storm is expected to hit Texas or Louisiana this weekend.
So far, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival have altered itineraries to avoid Ike, but no new itinerary changes have been announced today.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Associate Editor
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