Hurricane Sandy Tracking: Live Stream of Storm Path, Expected to Hit Late Afternoon, Early Evening (Video)
Hurricane Sandy reared its ugly head beginning early this morning Oct. 29, and is expected to make landfall near extreme southern New Jersey or central Delaware by late afternoon or early evening, according to Weather.com.
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The National Hurricane Center has warned nearly half a dozen states including New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to prepare for what many are calling a "Frankenstorm" - a torrid mixture of rain, snow, and wind that's part hurricane, part nor'easter, dontchaknow.
The highest storm surge from Sandy is anticipated along the Long Island Sound and New York Harbor where the next high tide is this evening around 8:10 p.m. Surge flooding will also reach its peak during high tide tonight along the Jersey Shore and the south coast of southern New England.
Peak tide levels may top those from Hurricane Irene by 2 feet in some of these areas, reports Weather.com. Tonight in Sandy Hook, N.J. tide levels could top the previous record from the Dec. 1992 Nor'easter and Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Coastal flooding is expected to continue through additional tide cycles after Monday's peak and into Tuesday afternoon in some areas, Weather.com reports.
Numerous coastal locations from Massachusetts to coastal New Jersey and coastal Maryland are reporting wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph.
According to Weather.com, wind gusts of 80-90 mph or higher are likely in southern New England, the NYC Tri-State area, and the Mid-Atlantic states through Monday night.
Gusts of 60-70 mph, or possibly higher will spread into the interior Northeast and Appalachians through Monday night.
For the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes, the strongest winds may actually occur Tuesday, as the pressure gradient gets squeezed.
The storm will end gradually throughout the rest of the week according to Weather.com
More than 60 million Americans are likely to be impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Experts forecast damages in the range of $2 billion to $100 billion.
Hundreds of schools, offices, shopping malls and restaurants have closed their doors in anticipation of the hurricane. Broadway theaters canceled their shows. Wall Street closed. The New York City subway and bus system - the largest in the U.S. - closed. Atlantic City casinos sent gamblers home.
The last time the New York Stock Exchange closed because of a weather-related event was on Sept. 27, 1985, when Hurricane Gloria pounded the East Coast, according to Yahoo News.
Airlines have grounded thousands of flights in the Northeast. According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 7,500 flights had been canceled for Monday and Tuesday. President Obama declared New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia as state of emergencies.
Hurricane Irene in 2011 cost an estimated $15 billion to $20 billion in damages, according to Yahoo News.