Hurricane Sandy: The situation in 17 states from the Carolinas to Maine
The eye of Hurricane Sandy is still about 300 miles from land, but it's long reach is already being felt in 17 states. Some are being hit, others are getting ready for the storm's arrival.
Hurricane Sandy is churning off the East Coast and is expected to join up with two other weather systems to create a huge and problematic storm affecting 50 million people. Here's a snapshot of what is happening or expected, state by state.
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 members of a crew forced to abandon a tall ship, the HMS Bounty, about 90 miles off the North Carolina coast and continued to search for two other crew members. The storm lashed barrier islands and rendered several homes and businesses nearly inaccessible.
The number of power outages increased quickly in a state where utilities' response to past weather-related failures has become a political issue. Connecticut Light & Power says hundreds of customers are without power. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked a task force to ensure fuel suppliers are fully stocked. Many residents along Long Island Sound heeded warnings and evacuated.
Dover Air Force Base has relocated some aircraft in anticipation of the storm, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has requested that the base be used as a staging area for support and supplies. Some residents of low-lying areas of the base have been ordered to evacuate.
Sandy is expected to bring snow to far southeastern Kentucky. A winter storm warning is in effect in Harlan, Letcher and Pike counties through Wednesday morning. Forecasters say snow could accumulate from 4 to 10 inches in high elevations and 1 to 3 inches in lower elevations.
Virtually all Maine public schools opened Monday but some were closing early before the heaviest rain and wind from Hurricane Sandy. State officials say the biggest concern is wind, which is expected to cause widespread power outages. The state's utilities say they have crews poised to deal with expected power outages, including some from Canada.
Hurricane Sandy inflicted considerable damage overnight to a large, iconic ocean pier in the Maryland beach resort of Ocean City. In mountainous western Maryland, a blizzard warning was issued for sections of Garrett County for Monday night into Tuesday morning.
“Your job over the next 24 to 36 hours is to stay off the roads, keep your spouse off the roads … stay home and hunker down in place," Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said, according to the Washington Post. He added that the weather forecast has turned for the worse because winds will now be coming at an angle that will push water back up into the Chesapeake Bay and into streams and tributaries feeding the bay.
“We will be hit with the most intense winds of the storm, and that potential bay tidal surge, which we thought would be minor, will be causing a lot of flooding,” Governor O’Malley said. “The reality is we’re dealing with in Maryland is the worse than we thought it was going to be 12 hours ago.”
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is shutting down all service at 2 p.m. Monday due to expected high winds from Sandy. Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said the order affects all subway, bus and commuter rail service.
Gov. John Lynch declared a state of emergency Monday morning, giving him extra authority to deal with the storm. It also gives the state the opportunity to apply for federal disaster relief. Earlier, Lynch put 100 New Hampshire Guard soldiers on active duty, and utilities secured crews from Canada and a number of states.
Hurricane Sandy put most of Atlantic City under water Monday and flooed other cities up and down the New Jersey shore as the storm approached for a predicted direct hit to New Jersey. Thousands of people were without power, and some were stranded in homes surrounded by water and had to be rescued. Officials said they expected conditions to get much worse at evening high tide.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city's public schools will remain closed on Tuesday after being shut down Monday. Earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and Holland Tunnel will close at 2 p.m. Monday. Airports in the metropolitan New York City area are open, but air carriers are not operating.
Residents of low-lying areas and along Lake Erie were told to watch for flooding; utilities are anticipating high winds that could blow down trees and poles. Snow is forecast in some areas.
Many schools closed. Philadelphia shut down its mass transit system, and hundreds of flights were canceled at the city's airport. Dozens of people took shelter at evacuation centers. Thousands of members of the National Guard have been told to be ready for deployment.
Officials are concerned about wind driving water north up Narragansett Bay, which could create flooding in low-lying areas of the upper bay, including Providence, Warwick and Cranston. About 2,600 National Grid customers were without power, mostly in Barrington and other parts of Bristol County.
Snow is expected in higher elevations, where a freeze warning has been issued. High winds are expected in many areas.
Gov. Peter Shumlin declared a state of emergency to provide access to National Guard troops in a state still recovering from the devastating effects of the remnants of Hurricane Irene. Culverts and storm drainage basins in some spots have been cleared of debris.
About 4,800 customers lacked power, and a utility said as many as 1 million could ultimately lose electricity. Many residents of Chincoteague Island, popular with tourists, shrugged off the idea of evacuation.
The capital area's transit system shut down rail service for the first time since 2003, and the Smithsonian Institution closed for the day.
As much as 2 to 3 feet of snow was forecast in mountainous areas, and flooding was possible in some areas. At least 14 counties are under a blizzard warning Monday as high winds and heavy, wet snow moves through the state.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.