Hurricane Sandy: 'Super storm' to hit US

2012-10-27 08:02
Corey Hutterli works on securing his sailboat with rope as the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy are felt in Miami Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images/AFP)

Corey Hutterli works on securing his sailboat with rope as the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy are felt in Miami Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images/AFP)

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Miami - Hurricane Sandy, a late-season Atlantic cyclone that threatens to be one of the worst storms to hit the US Northeast in decades, slogged slowly northward early on Saturday after killing at least 41 people in the Caribbean.

Forecasters said wind damage, widespread and extended power outages and coastal and inland flooding were anticipated across a broad swath of the densely populated US East Coast when Sandy comes ashore early next week.

"We're expecting a large, large storm. The circulation of this storm as it approaches the coast could cover about the eastern third of the United States," said Louis Uccellini, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Centers for Environmental Prediction.

He stopped short of calling Sandy possibly the worst storm to hit the US Northeast in 100 years, as some weather watchers were doing, but said Sandy was shaping up to go down as a storm of "historic" proportions.

The late-season hybrid storm has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" by some weather watchers because it will combine elements of a tropical cyclone and a winter storm. Forecast models show it will have all of the ingredients to morph into a massive and potentially catastrophic "super storm."

On its current projected track, government forecasters said, Sandy could make landfall on Monday night or Tuesday in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York or southern New England.

In New York City, the global financial hub, officials were considering closing down mass transit before the storm hits.

Coming in the final weeks before the U.S. presidential election on November 6, the storm could throw last-minute campaign travel plans into chaos.

An aide to Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney said he had cancelled a campaign event scheduled for Sunday night in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
 
President Barack Obama's re-election campaign announced that Vice President Joe Biden had also cancelled a trip to Virginia Beach scheduled for Saturday.

Sandy weakened to a Category 1 storm as it tore though sparsely populated low-lying southeastern islands in the Bahamas late on Thursday, knocking out power and blowing rooftops off some homes.

Sandy's driving rains and heavy winds were blamed for 41 deaths in the Caribbean, where landslides and flash floods were triggered by the cyclone.
The Cuban government said Sandy killed 11 people when it tore across the island on Thursday. The storm took at least 26 other lives in deeply impoverished Haiti and four people were killed in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The Haitian dead included a family of five in Grand-Goave, west of the capital Port-au-Prince, killed in a landslide that destroyed their home, authorities said.

The Cuban fatalities were unusual for the communist-ruled country that has long prided itself on protecting its people from storms by ordering mass evacuations.

Read more on:    us  |  bahamas  |  weather  |  us superstorm

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