Hurricane Sandy is expected to continue gaining strength as it steadily moves towards the northeast coast at 28 mph. As of Monday morning, the category 1 hurricane was moving northwest packing 90 mph winds. The National Hurricane Center said the storm was located just 110 miles southwest of Atlantic City, New Jersey and 175 miles south-southwest of New York City. Sandy’s center is expected to make landfall in southern New Jersey this evening.
Forecasters predict Sandy will collide with cold Arctic air and a winter storm moving in from the west, ultimately creating a violent superstorm that will affect some 60 million people between Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts. Between 5 and 8 inches of rain is expected to fall over the next two days, potentially causing widespread flooding. Weather officials also warned of a possible storm surge between 4 to 11 feet in coastal areas.
Sandy is already wreaking havoc in the northeast. Flooding has already been seen in New York City and more than 7,000 flights in the region have been grounded. Public transportation, including subways and trains, has been suspended and schools and businesses have been closed. The New York Stock Exchange was also closed on Monday. Mandatory evacuations are already underway in several areas.
President Barack Obama urged residents to heed warnings and evacuation orders. "Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Don't delay, don't pause, don't question the instructions that are being given, because this is a powerful storm,” he said in a special statement Monday.
"In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another. And so, there may be elderly populations in your area. Check on your neighbor, check on your friend. Make sure that they are prepared. If we do, then we're going to get through this storm just fine,” the president said.
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