Hurricane Sandy Set To Slam US East Coast
The Threat Of Sandy
Hurricane Sandy regained some of her strength as she sets to impact the US Eastern seaboard, with some forecast models calling for effects to be felt as early as Sunday night. Sandy could impact a significant portion of the northeast with heavy rains, high winds, major flooding, and power outages.
On the current projected track, Sandy may make landfall on Monday night or Tuesday somewhere between Maryland and New England. Some areas may see rainfall amounts of up to 12 inches coupled with heavy snowfall inland. As Sandy merges with the Arctic jet stream, meteorologist say that there are all of the elements in place to transform the hurricane into a super storm unlike any weather event seen in the US in several decades.
As of Saturday evening, Sandy is a massive, slow moving storm with winds extending more than 650 miles across, and the flooding effect could span multiple tides with storm surge of up to 8 feet in Long Island Sound and Lower New York Bay. Governors in states along the US east coast have declared emergencies and are urging residents to stock up on food, water, and batteries. Coastal flooding is a major threat, particularly in low lying areas such as New York City.
Sandy has killed at least 59 people as it made its way through the Caribbean Islands, including 44 in Southern Haiti. This was due mostly to flash floods and mudslides. 11 more died in Cuba from collapsing structures.
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Early estimates predict that up to 60 million Americans may be affected by Sandy, with some forecasters predicting that the storm may be more destructive than last year’s Hurricane Irene, which caused billions of dollars in damage across the northeast.
A Rare Event
In New York, preparations are being made to close down the city’s buses, subways, commuter trains, tunnels, and bridges in preparation for the storm’s arrival. Shutdowns may begin as early as 7PM on Sunday, with the entire system closed down by 3AM.
As of Saturday night, Sandy was located 335 miles east of Charleston SC, with top sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is moving northward at 13 mph. There is little change expected in the storm’s strength before US landfall.
Tropical storm-force winds were being felt near the North Carolina coast. There were tropical storm warnings for all of the coastal portion of the state, along with about half of South Carolina. High winds also threatened to disrupt air travel along the U.S. East Coast.
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