Hurricane Sandy, currently located 250 miles off the East Coast of the USA is expected to hit New York City this evening. It is already bringing major rains to Washington DC as it moves towards NYC and Boston. Water storm surge is expected to be 6-11 feet, which will put much of the city underwater. Offshore waves are expected to be 30-37 feet high, and wave height in New York currently is approximately 8 feet with the waves expected to go up to 20 feet high at the southern tip of Manhattan. All transit systems are either already or are expected to be shut down including planes (already shut down), trains, subway systems (already shut down), and buses. It is projected that power outages could affect as many as 2 million residents, as the storm itself will affect approximately 15 million total residents.
To give you an idea of the how the winds will affect all of the US, the winds in Detroit (approximately 600 miles farther west) are expected to be over 50 miles per hour by this afternoon.
If you are in the area, evacuate inland as soon as possible--and for anyone already in the US--avoid the northeast portion of the US for the next four days.
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Oct-2012, at 06:15 by Calcruzer ]
The Connecticut governor has just announced that travelers are to be off all roads and highways in the state by 1:00 PM local time today (a little less than three hours from now).
The presidential campaigns of both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have both ground to a halt as the storm rolls through parts of 16 states, including five of the ten major "swing states" vital to the election chances of the two candidates (North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire). The storm is now expected to impact 50 million residents.
Current forecasts call for over 4 feet of flooding in southern Manhattan, with over 1 foot of that on the ground now. Additionally, there is now a forecast for over 3 feet of snowfall in the West Virginia mountains.
As one of the hurricane prognosticators stated, "I've been doing hurricane predictions for over 40 years, and this is the first time I've ever seen one that included a snow advisory".
[ Edit: Edited on 29-Oct-2012, at 12:39 by Calcruzer ]
Seven million people are now without power in 13 eastern states as a result of this storm. Most of these are in New Jersey (2.4 million), in Pennsylvania (1.2 million), New York (1.5 million), and Connecticut (0.5 million). Officials are estimating that it will take approximately 8 days to restore power to all affected homes (note that our national election is scheduled to take place in 7 days). Biggest problem in many areas is a lack of fresh water due to lack of power for water treatment plants.
Stock market in New York is closed for two days now;--first time closed two days in a row due to weather since 1888. Water level at the south end of Manhattan hit 14 feet before receding. There is no power in the city south of 39th street. (Times Square is located between 40th and 42nd streets). Subway tunnels have 4 feet of water in them, and all bridges and tunnels to/from New York City are closed.
My wife's family in New Jersey is among those affected by the power outage. They are safe, but very cold. All hotels which have backup generators are already full.
Thanks for these updates.