Hurricane Sandy has already caused flooding and power outages in the eastern United States, and forecasters warn the worst is yet to come as the centre of the storm moves closer to land.
The U.S. Hurricane Center said the centre of the story is expected to make landfall just south of the southern New Jersey coast Monday evening or night. The storm now has sustained winds of 150 kilometres an hour.
Tracking Hurricane Sandy (courtesy of Google)
Click here to view it on a page.
Response from U.S. government officials
U.S. President Barack Obama said this is going to be a big and powerful storm, and that people need to listen to the warnings from their local officials.
“When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Do not delay, don’t pause, don’t question — the instructions that are being given because this is a serious storm and it could potentially have fatal consequences,” President Obama said.
Similar sentiments were also reiterated by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Do not underestimate this storm. These forecasts for the surge are really extraordinary,” he said.
Thousands of people are already without power in New Jersey. Casinos in Atlantic City were ordered to close Sunday afternoon.
In Ocean City, Md., police are reporting significant damage from Sandy to the downtown pier.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said he expects the weather will be lethal.
“This is going to be a long haul. The days ahead are going to be very difficult. There will be people who die and are killed in this storm,” O’Malley said.
Officials in Boston, Mass., said the city’s transit system will be shut down at 2 p.m. Monday.
New York: state of emergency
New York is under a state of emergency, with extra rescue workers and vehicles being prepped.
In anticipation of the storm, New York City suspended all public transit at 7 p.m. Sunday. Gov. Cuomo said the Holland and Brooklyn Battery tunnels will close at 2 p.m.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said all public schools will be closed on Tuesday as well. On Sunday, he also ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of the city. You can find information on whether you’re affected here.
The operator of the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext, announced Monday afternoon that U.S. markets will be closed on Tuesday due to the storm.
Impact of Sandy in southern Ontario & GTA
In Ontario, forecasters believe we may see significant rain in the southern and eastern sections of the province, ranging 50-100 millimetres.
There is the potential that the significant rainfall could possibly last into Halloween.
Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for the GTA. Severe winds of 60 kilometres an hour, gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour, are expected to begin Monday evening.
Quebec and the Maritimes are also likely to see harsh winds and rain, according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
In response to the storm, several airlines have issued travel-advisories warning of travel to the U.S. Northeast, especially between Monday and Wednesday. Hundreds of flights have also been cancelled ahead of Sandy. Click here to check Pearson’s departure and arrival schedule.
Sandy has already killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean, wrecking homes and knocking down trees and power lines. Forecasters south of the border are warning the storm may cause serious damage and threaten lives along the U.S. eastern seaboard.
The storm system is one of the largest systems ever seen in the Atlantic Basin.