Washington: More than 60 million Americans are braced up for the impact of ‘Hurricane Sandy’ after forecasters said that it could be the biggest storm ever to hit the US mainland.
Coast Guards predicted that Hurricane Sandy ‘could be bad or devastating’ bringing ‘life-threatening’ flooding.
The enormous weather system, called ‘Frankenstorm’ arriving on the eve of Halloween, is predicted to be of historic proportions when it makes landfall on the east coast.
According to the Telegraph, President Barack Obama said the storm was “serious and big,” and also warned that it was “unique” because it was moving very slowly.
Obama visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington for an update and urged Americans to “pull together”.
“This hasn’t hit landfall yet so we don’t yet know where it’s going to hit, where we are going to see the biggest impact,” he said.
“That’s why it’s important that we respond big and respond fast. We have to take this seriously,” Obama added.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of 375,000 people, including the coastal zones of Coney Island and Staten Island, and the closure of schools.
According to the report, New York’s rail, subway and bus services, which are used by 8.5 million people daily, are being suspended amid fears that tunnels could flood.
The storm is expected to hit an 800-mile-wide swathe of north-east America that includes the cities of New York, Washington, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia, bringing 80mph winds, the report said.
The National Hurricane Centre warned of a “life-threatening storm surge” that could cause record flooding on the coast from Delaware to southern New England.
States of emergency have been declared by governors from North Carolina to Connecticut, a state that has been warned to expect its worst flooding in 70 years.