Hurricane Sandy is forecasted to hit the East Coast, but as NBC's Al Roker explains, the storm may also pack a punch for many inland areas.
As Hurricane Sandy barrels toward the East Coast, forecasters warn it’s threatening to be one of the worst storms to hit the Northeast in decades.
The storm already killed more than 40 people in the Caribbean. Officials all along the Eastern Seaboard have declared states of emergency and meteorologists have warned residents – both coastal and inland – to prepare for gale-force winds, chances of flooding, heavy rain, power outages and even snow.
Here’s a look at what some weather forecasters predict.
Al Roker, chief meteorologist for NBC's TODAY Show
“Sandy is now back up to hurricane strengths with winds now up to 75 miles per hour. As we’ve seen already, it has caused massive destruction in its path. This one looks like it’s going to be one for the record books. It’s threatening to be one of the worst storms to hit the Northeast in decades. States of emergency have already been declared across five states and D.C., and in Norfolk, Va., the Navy is sending their ships out to sea as a precautionary measure.”
The Weather Channel
Carl Parker, hurricane specialist on The Weather Channel
"We’re really concerned about the water level rise. Because of the size of the system has everything to do with that potential for water-level rise. When you think about (Hurricane) Charlie, for example, it was a very powerful storm; it was a very small storm, so it wasn’t blowing water over a very large section of ocean. But this storm is going to be blowing water over a huge area — hundreds of miles — and that’s why it’s going to really pile up the water, and why the surge could be devastating when it finally comes on shore."
“You can see the storm moving further southward more toward south Jersey so in this case again we are piling up the water as early as late tomorrow, coming up here toward the coast of New Jersey, and towards Long Island and then as the storm moves into New Jersey we see that maximum water level rise occurring just north of the area of low pressure, and that could have serious, potentially huge impact in New York City, in particular, because of the surge potential there, so that would maximize the surge around Long Island and then down and across the Jersey Shore.”
Don Morelli, meteorologist with WSI, a sister company of The Weather Channel
"They’ve had quite a bit of time to prepare for this, that’s the good side of this, they have been able to trim some branches from over wires and maybe try to minimize the power outages. But still, we are talking about a wind shield with severity of several hundred miles, so we are looking for widespread power outages in the New England area from southern Maine to central Connecticut and from areas in interior New York to the mid-Atlantic region."
"After the fact with all this rain and blustery wind after the main storm center comes in on Monday, Tuesday the root system of these trees are very, very loose so it won’t take much to knock off trees even after the storm makes inland so this isn’t just for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, for the mid-Atlantic region, could even go in to mid-week, and then we are talking you know maybe a week or two of power outages for wide spread areas."
"The criteria for closing an airport is around 58, 60 miles an hour, which is easily going to be reach for much of the major hubs from D.C. Northward to New York city and even into Logan [in Boston]." "Major delays going to be very, very widespread right through mid-week, so [it’s]not a good week to be traveling across the Northeastern U.S."
Bill Karins, NBC Meteorologist
"The greatest destruction is expected to occur Monday afternoon and evening as Sandy makes landfall near the New Jersey shore. Serious and life threatening weather conditions are expected from Outer Banks to New England. The landfall window is from Long Island to Ocean City, Md., but the Jersey Shore covers 80 percent of that area so I'm expecting a New Jersey landfall. Areas of Northern Jersey, coastal New York City, Long Island and Connecticut are facing a major coastal flood threat from a possible top 5 all-time recorded storm surges."
"Lastly we are certain to be dealing with destructive weather conditions Monday and Tuesday but Wednesday will be no walk in the park with the storm stalling near Philadelphia and then slowly drifting into New England during Halloween. This will keep periods of rain and gusty southerly winds (20-40 mph) over the hardest hit areas of New Jersey, New York City, Long Island and coastal Connecticut. All hands on deck power restoration efforts will likely not begin until Thursday."
"People in the high impact zone from Virginia to Southern New England have one day left to make preparations and plans before Sandy significantly impacts their lives. After the storm hits expect the cleanup and power outage restoration to continue right up through Election Day."
Jose Luis Magana / AP
After strong winds and heavy rain washed out bridges and damaged homes in multiple countries, the hurricane looks toward the northeastern U.S.
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