Hurricane Sandy is already causing major disruption in the New York City area, even though it is still hours away from delivering the full one-two punch of pounding rain and high winds. Here’s the latest roundup.
Fire Island and coastal areas of Long Island are being hard hit. Much of Fire Island has been flooded by 18 inches of water, or more. New York City’s Battery Park has also begun flooding.
Damage has been reported along Long Island’s south shore where a storm surge is expected to reach as high as 10 feet. Atlantic City, N.J. has already lost part of its boardwalk. Flooding ranges from North Carolina up through Virginia, according to the National Weather Service.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier ordered 375,000 people to evacuate low-lying areas around the city. Power outages have also been reported, according to Reuters. So far about 20,000 homes have lost power.
The stock exchanges have closed Monday and could be closed Tuesday as well. New York City’s subway, bus and commuter railroads have been closed. The city’s Holland and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels were closed at 2 p.m. Monday. Amtrak canceled all of its northeast corridor service.
All Broadway shows are also canceled.
Sandy gained strength as it veered left Monday (Oct. 29) and headed for the East Coast. Landfall is expected Monday night, somewhere in Southern New Jersey and Delaware, if the storm continues to track on its present course, according to MSNBC.
Sustained winds are about 90 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. Wind speed has risen by 15 mph over the past 12 hours.
Sandy will hit land during a full moon, which could lead to record flooding. “First will be the coastal impact, then winds knocking out power, then heavy rain where we may get flash flooding but in some cases we may not get river flooding for several days,” Craig Fugate, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told NBC.
“We’re not expecting the winds inland to be that damaging to homes but we do think trees are going to get impacted and that will be the biggest problem, knocking down the power grid.”