A Con Edison truck navigates through flood waters, resulting from Hurricane Sandy, in Mamaroneck, N.Y.(Photo: By Matthew Brown, The Journal News)
NEW YORK -- The nation's largest city braced for Hurricane Sandy as
forecasters said the monster storm picked up strength and was headed
toward the New York region, packing high winds and rain and a wall of
water that could reach 11 feet.
Sandy is starting to move faster and could make landfall in New Jersey as early as 5 p.m. ET, the Weather Channel reported.
storm has strengthened as it moves along the Eastern Seaboard
threatening some 50 million people, many who have evacuated coastal
MORE: President urges residents to heed Sandy warnings
Winds have been measured at 90 mph, which is a strong
Category 1 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind gusts
were reported as high as 115 mph.
Sandy remains a monster storm
as tropical-storm-force winds of at least 39 to 73 mph are being felt
all the way from southern Maine to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
storm is gaining energy from other weather systems and is combining to
create a superstorm with the potential for devastation over 800 miles
from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were
forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.
is being written as an extreme weather event continues to unfold, one
which will occupy a place in the annals of weather history as one of the
most extraordinary to have affected the United States," said
meteorologist Stu Ostro of the Weather Channel.
MORE: Sandy brings flooding to Delaware
surge already pushed tides over 7 feet in New York City shortly before
the arrival of Monday morning's high tide, the National Weather Service
said. The surge added roughly 3 feet to the high tide, which was already
higher than normal as a result of the full moon, said meteorologist
"We think the peak of the surge will be as Sandy
comes ashore tonight," with a roughly 6-foot surge added to the
nighttime high tide, he said.
"It's a once in a lifetime storm," Tongue said. "I've been doing this for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this."
has already impacted some parts of the New York metropolitan area. The
city is closing both the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel that links Manhattan and
Brooklyn, and the Holland Tunnel between Manhattan and Jersey City in
Highways, mass transit and bridges have closed. The
financial district was shut down. And New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
said public schools would remain closed Tuesday.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo said he made the decision to close the tunnels because they
are prone to flooding during heavy storms. The city storm surge from
Hurricane Sandy is already at the level of the surge during Hurricane
Irene last year, even though Sandy is still hundreds of miles away,
worst is still coming," he said during a morning news conference at
which he urged New Yorkers to stay home and away from highways and the
coastline. "You do not need to be going to the beach to take pictures."
MORE: Evacuations, shutdowns ordered ahead of massive storm
Machado, 38, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., in Westchester County was at Harbor
Island Park taking photographs of the flooding that was swallowing park
benches at about 10:15 a.m. He said he plans to stay home with his wife
and two daughters.
"I'm a little bit scared," he said.
Monday the Coast Guard rescued 14 of 16 people aboard a vessel
approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C. Two people remain
missing. The replica of the tall ship made famous in the film Mutiny on the Bounty eventually sunk, officials said. Survivors managed to get on two lifeboats.
The storm is expected to bring 50 to 75 mph winds, up to 10 inches of
rain and potential snowfall of up to 2 feet over 14 states beginning
late Monday afternoon or early evening.
administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said Monday
the agency has stationed teams from North Carolina to Maine and in
states as far inland as West Virginia.
"We've been moving generators, basic supplies, we would need after the storm," he said.
Fugate said he was worried about people evacuating ahead of storm surges.
there will be the coastal impact, then the wind knocking out power and
then heavy rain and flash flooding, he said, adding "we don't want
people to think it's not that bad when it comes ashore."
watches and flood warnings are in effect for all the Mid-Atlantic
states and southern New England, where Sandy was expected to barrel
The New York Stock Exchange dropped its plan to
have electronic trading Monday as Hurricane Sandy churned closer to New
York City. Exchange officials also said the market will remained closed
"We support the consensus of the markets and the
regulatory community that the dangerous conditions developing as a
result of Hurricane Sandy will make it extremely difficult to ensure the
safety of our people and communities, and safety must be our first
priority" the stock exchange said in a formal announcement. "We will
work with the industry to determine the next steps in restoring trading
as soon as the situation permits."
A number of major U.S. companies postponed quarterly earnings reports.
least 9,000 airline flights had been canceled by Monday because of the
storm, according to the FlightAware flight-tracking service. That number
-- 8,962 as of 9 a.m. ET -- appears certain to grow over the next 24
hours as Sandy moves onshore.
Once Tuesday's cancellation tally is included, it's possible the
total could soar over 10,000 and possibly approach the 14,000 Hurricane
Irene-related flight cancellations that were reported over a four-day
period in August 2011.
President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney
canceled any election stops. Obama flew back to Washington from Florida
to monitor the storm.
The brutal force and massive breadth of
Hurricane Sandy may leave as many as a record 10 million people in the
dark from West Virginia to Maine and even as far west as Chicago.
least 36,000 people in at least seven states were out of power as of
mid-day Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
of residents in New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland had already
experienced power outages but utility workers were rushing to restore
electricity to many before expected wind gusts start slamming the region
As of 11:45 a.m. EST, about 53,000 Dominion
Virginia Power customers had lost power since Saturday but only 5,500
were still without it, said David Botkins, director of media relations.
actively responding to outages as they occur," he says. "We have to be
very careful about putting people in harm's way but so far we've been
able to work through it."
The worst is yet to come and utility
companies have been preparing for outages of historic magnitude.
Thousands of linemen and support crew are on their way from as far away
as California and Texas and many already are in set up in staging areas
prepared to respond.
"It's changing by the quarter-hour," says
Keith Voight, spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, the
association of shareholder-owned electric companies that generate 75% of
the power in the U.S. "Forecasters predicted it could become the worst
storm to hit the East Coast in 100 years."
Power outages are
expected to be the worst, too, affecting as many as 10 million. About 7
million were in the dark when Hurricane Irene hit last year and 5
million after the "derecho" took the Washington area by surprise in
Even Chicago 800 miles to the west may feel the wrath of Sandy.
actually preparing right now because we're expecting high winds and
high waves on Lake Michigan," said John Schoen, spokesman for ComEd,
which provides power to Chicago and its suburbs.
Governors from North Carolina to Connecticut have declared states of emergency.
In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell ordered mandatory evacuations for an
estimated 50,000 residents of coastal communities. Collin O'Mara,
secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Control, said Sandy could unleash record waves and tidal flooding along
the coast."The potential on this is greater than the defenses that we
have in most places," O'Mara said.
- New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie declared a state of emergency and ordered Atlantic City casinos
evacuated -- just the fourth time the city's 12 casinos have been shut
since legalized gambling began 34 years ago. Christie warned state
residents to be prepared for several days without electricity.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy warned that storm surges could be the worst
the state has seen in almost 75 years and urged residents along the
shorelines of several cities and towns to heed evacuation orders.
The storm's landfall along the Mid-Atlantic coast "would likely be a
billion-dollar disaster," Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters
said. He also noted that the full moon will occur Monday, which means
astronomical tides will be at their peak for the month, increasing
potential storm surge flooding.
The American Red Cross was
readying shelters, volunteers and supplies to help coastal areas from
Virginia to New England. "We want to make sure we're ready to spring
into action as soon as we're needed," spokeswoman Anne Marie Borrego