A superstorm threatening 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation gained strength Monday, packing winds of 90 mph and picking up considerable speed just hours before it is expected to make landfall, forecasters said.
The National Hurricane Center said Monday afternoon that Hurricane Sandy is moving northwest at 28 mph – up from 18 mph a few hours earlier. At 4:00 p.m. ET the Category 1 hurricane was about 55 miles east-southeast of Cape May, N.J. The storm’s top sustained winds are holding at about 90 mph with higher gusts.
Forecasters said the hurricane could blow ashore Monday night along the New Jersey coast, then cut across into Pennsylvania and travel up through New York State on Wednesday. As the storm closed in, a crane dangled precariously in the wind off a 65-story luxury building in New York City, and the streets were cleared as a precaution.
Forecasters said the combination of Sandy with the storm from the west and the cold air from the Arctic could bring close to a foot of rain in places, a potentially lethal storm surge of 4 to 11 feet across much of the region, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days. The storm could also dump up to 2 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.
Hurricane Sandy hits Massachusetts
The rain is already coming down and coastlines are overflowing as the East Coast braces for Hurricane Sandy. For the second time in a year, New York City is under a complete lock down, with subways ending service in anticipation of the storm. At this point, waves and feet of storm water have already breached New York City coastlines hours before Sandy has even made landfall. Storm waves have also surged all the way up the East Coast to Massachusetts. Here, rushing water crashes over Winthrop, Mass. as Hurricane Sandy makes her way up the coast. Check out more shots as Sandy rears her ugly head …
Hurricane Sandy hits New York City
Waves slam the coast of Gravesend Bay hours before Sandy has even made landfall on Oct. 29, 2012.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all MTA Bridges and Tunnels closed on Oct. 29, 2012. A truck blocks entrance to the Holland Tunnel which connects New York City and New Jersey.
Wind gusts 90 stories above the abandoned streets of New York City have caused a crane to collapse near 57th St. and Seventh Ave. in Manhattan on Oct. 29, 2012. No one has been injured, but police and firefighters are on hand as the structure dangles over the Big Apple.
Shore Parkway braces for Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy is currently about 500 miles wide and winds up to 175 miles per hour can be expected as it makes landfall over New York City
Atlantic City, NJ hit by Hurricane Sandy
Atlantic City, New Jersey’s coastal gambling hub, is being battered by Hurricane Sandy. Here, the White Horse Pike which leads into Atlantic City is enveloped by storm waves early in the day on Oct. 29, 2012
The casinos in Atlantic City, NJ were ordered closed by noon on Oct. 29, 2012 by Gov. Chris Christie. By that time, water had already flooded the boardwalk and adjacent casinos.
Southampton, NY hit by Hurricane Sandy
Safety barriers in the coastal Southampton, NY have been breached by Hurricane Sandy’s rushing waters on Oct. 29, 2012
A man gets a last glimpse of the surf in Southampton on Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy is expected to make landfall later in the day.