Evacuations, cancellations mount as megastorm nears Northeast

Evacuations, cancellations mount as megastorm nears Northeast

Credit: NOAA/Getty Images

AT SEA - OCTOBER 26: In this handout satellite image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Sandy churns off the coast of Florida on October 26, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean. Sandy is expected to head up the East Coast this weekend and make a possible landfall anywhere from North Carolina to New England. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)


Associated Press

Posted on October 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 28 at 12:59 PM

UNDATED (AP) — The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says "the time for preparing and talking is about over."

Craig Fugate (FYOO'-gayt) says it's now time to act, before Hurricane Sandy moves ashore and collides with two other weather systems, potentially threatening some 50 million people.

Tens of thousands are being told to evacuate coastal areas of Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut and other vulnerable spots along the East Coast.

New York City is shutting down its subways, buses and trains tonight, and closing its schools tomorrow. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has also ordered the evacuation of low-lying neighborhoods in the city, including lower Manhattan.

Airlines are canceling thousands of flights and Amtrak is scaling back train service in the Northeast Corridor.

Forecasters expect Sandy to come ashore late tomorrow or early Tuesday, most likely in New Jersey, bringing high winds and coastal flooding. Then it's expected to meet up with a storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic.

Forecasters say the resulting megastorm could blow down trees and power lines and dump heavy rain or snow over 800 miles, from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. Parts of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina could get up to 2 feet of snow.

%@AP Links

191-a-15-(Rick Knabb (nab), director, National Hurricane Center, in teleconference)-"penetrate well inland"-National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb says a life-threatening storm surge is only one danger from this massive storm. (28 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *191 (10/28/12)>> 00:15 "penetrate well inland"

190-a-16-(Craig Fugate, administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in teleconference)-"additional evacuations today"-FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says the dangerous storm threatens the lives of millions of coastal residents in the Northeast. (28 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *190 (10/28/12)>> 00:16 "additional evacuations today"

196-a-13-(Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-New York, at news conference)-"your pets along"-Mayor Michael Bloomberg says evacuations in lower Manhattan are mandatory. (28 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *196 (10/28/12)>> 00:13 "your pets along"

194-a-15-(Louis Uccellini (LOO'-ee yoo-chuh-LEE'-nee), director, National Centers for Environmental Predictions, in teleconference)-"40, low 40s"-National Centers for Environmental Predictions Director Louis Uccellini says lengthy power outages from the storm could leave people without heat in some very cold weather later in the week. (28 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *194 (10/28/12)>> 00:15 "40, low 40s"

195-a-10-(Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-New York, at news conference)-"into Tuesday afternoon"-Mayor Michael Bloomberg says storm surge will be a huge problem. (28 Oct 2012)

<<CUT *195 (10/28/12)>> 00:10 "into Tuesday afternoon"

APPHOTO NJJK107: A man watch the rough surf and sea foam near Great Egg Harbor Inlet, in Longport N.J., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as the area prepares for Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek) (28 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO NJJK107 (10/28/12)>>

APPHOTO PAJL104: Mike Coyle hands his sister Stephanie Colye an item taken from a shed as they load up belongings on River Road along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Tens of millions of people in the eastern third of the U.S. in the path of a massive freak storm had braced Sunday for the first raindrops that were expected later in the day, to be followed over the next few days by sheets of rain, high winds and even heavy snow. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma) (28 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO PAJL104 (10/28/12)>>

APPHOTO NYCR102: A maintenance worker attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as a child walking by takes advantage of the temporary structure. Areas along the Northeast Coast are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) (28 Oct 2012)

<<APPHOTO NYCR102 (10/28/12)>>