As future Frankenstorm Hurricane Sandy targets the East Coast, millions are preparing for dangerous winds, heavy rain and predicted widespread power outages. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for barrier islands in southern New Jersey and other threatened coastal areas in the Hurricane Sandy path.
“We should not underestimate the impact of this storm and not assume the predictions will be wrong,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in a press conference on Saturday regarding the Hurricane Sandy projected path. “We have to be prepared for the worst.”
Residents in a number of states, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, have been warned they could face many days without electricity. Several states have already declared states of emergency in anticipation of the damage that will be caused by Hurricane Sandy.
“We’re looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,” said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In New York City, concern about the upcoming ‘Frankenstorm’ scenario has prompted shut down of area parks and possible plans to cancel mass transit services. A storm surge of 3 to 6 feet could hit the city and send seawater flushing down into the subway.
“This is not a coastal threat alone,” said Craig Fugate, Federal Emergency Management Agency director. “This is a very large area.”
Numerous airlines will be cutting down or re-routing flights through danger areas and have warned passengers to expect heavy delays or cancelled flights. Change fees for affected passengers have been waived by most airlines.
“It’s looking like a very serious storm that could be historic,” Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hurricane Sandy is expected to collide with a nasty winter storm coming in from the U.S. west coast and a blast of cold air dropping down from Canada. This convergance is expected to take place place over the New York and New Jersey area on Tuesday morning. The storm could cause widespread damage over a a huge swath of the east coast as it moves slowly North.
Anyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy or located in the predicted ‘Frankenstorm’ area along the East and Northeast coast should prepare now. Officials are urging residents to stock up on water, food, flashlights and batteries. After Hurricane Irene hit many of the same areas last year, some were without power for weeks.
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