Numerous cities across the East Coast have already shut down operations ahead of massive Hurricane Sandy’s arrival which is typical only after several feet of snow have fallen. The big storm is conspiring to assault the most populous part of the US as hundreds of thousands of residents have headed to higher ground to escape what could be deadly flooding.

Thus far Sandy has affected airplanes, large ships, smaller fishing vessels, subway & bus lines and has even interrupted the US Presidential campaign efforts. Public schools and colleges have canceled classes and the NY Stock Exchange is shut down ahead of Sandy that is on its predicted path toward the nation’s capital, Baltimore, Philly and New York. Steady rainfall was already falling throughout Washington Monday morning with gusting winds up to 30 miles per hour. Stronger winds of 60 to 70 miles per hour are likely to start sometime during the afternoon and continue through Tuesday evening.

During the early morning hours Monday, the US Coast Guard sent out helicopters to rescue over two dozen people whose 3-masted ship began taking on water in the path of the hurricane. The ship was caught in high winds and 18-foot seas about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina – just over 155 miles west of Sandy’s eye.

As Sandy is barreling toward the East Coast, forecasters and government officials are warning everyone in the storm’s path that this very rare, large “super storm” is expected to bring “life-threatening’ storm surge with it. The National Hurricane Center reported Monday morning that Sandy has grown more powerful with sustained wind in excess of 80 miles per hour with even higher gusts.

Sandy is on a direct path to meet up with a winter storm and cold front. Combine that with high tides from a full moon and experts are saying that the rare hybrid storm that is going to result could impact 800 miles of US land from the East Coast all the way to the Great Lakes. Some areas could end up with a foot of rain. There could very large storm surge across much of the affected region and strong, damaging winds that could very well cause millions and millions of people to lose power that could last for days. Sandy also could dump record amounts of snow in mountainous areas inland.

Updated: October 29, 2012 — 3:49 pm

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