Giant Hurricane Sandy lumbered toward the East Coast on Sunday, leaving potentially tens of millions of residents with only hours to prepare for its onslaught of punishing wind, torrential rains and, at higher elevations, heavy, wet snow.
Signaling the growing concern over what forecasters predict will be an historic storm, state and local officials, including New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, issued mandatory evacuation orders for hundreds of thousands of residents in low-lying areas and announced plans to shut down mass transit systems.
Forecasters said Sandy has the ingredients to transform into a "super storm" as it merges with an Arctic jet stream, which could make the storm unlike anything seen over the eastern United States in decades.
"We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people," said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In anticipation of widespread damage and vast power outages, states of emergency were declared in nine states from North Carolina to Maine, as well as in Washington, D.C., as Sandy made its way north after killing at least 65 people in the Caribbean.
In a 2 p.m. Sunday advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Sandy was about 270 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving northeast at 14 mph.
Its presence already was being felt on the Mid-Atlantic coast, and the first effects were expected to be seen elsewhere as the day progressed.
To read more about this story CLICK HERE.