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World Events, Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy tracking



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Event Information:

Hurricane Sandy is a late season tropical cyclone that is impacting Jamaica, Cuba, The Bahamas, Haiti and Florida and the United States East Coast and Canada. The eighteenth tropical cyclone, eighteenth named storm, and tenth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy developed from an elongated tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on October 22. It quickly strengthened after becoming a tropical depression and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Sandy six hours later. Sandy moved slowly northward toward the Greater Antilles and gradually strengthened. On October 24, Sandy was upgraded to a hurricane, shortly before making landfall in Jamaica. Upon moving further north, Sandy reentered water and made its second landfall in Cuba during the early morning hours on the next day, October 25 as a Category 2. In the Caribbean, at least 15 people were killed.


A tropical wave was moving westward through the eastern Caribbean Sea on October 19. It had an extended low pressure area, and conditions were expected to gradually become more favorable for development. On October 20, the system became better organized, and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) assessed a high potential for it to become a tropical cyclone within 48 hours. By the next day, the associated convection, or thunderstorms, had become minimal, although barometric pressure in the area remained low, which favored development. The thunderstorms gradually increased, while the system slowed and became nearly stationary over the western Caribbean. At 1500 UTC on October 22, the NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Eighteen about 320 mi (515 km) south of Kingston, Jamaica. This was based on surface observations and satellite imagery, which indicated the system had developed enough organized convection to be classified.

Much of the U.S. East Coast in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states have a good chance of receiving gale-force winds, flooding, heavy rain and maybe even snow early next week by an unusual hybrid of Hurricane Sandy and a winter storm. Government weather forecasters said there is a 90% chance (the chance having increased from 60% on October 24), that the East Coast will be impacted by the storm (with some media outlets already referring to the expected combination of the tropical system and storm front under the nickname "Frankenstorm"). Utilities and governments along the East Coast are attempting to head off long-term power failures as a result of Sandy. Power companies from the Southeast to New England are alerting independent contractors to be ready to assist to fix storm damaged equipment quickly and are asking employees to cancel vacations and work longer hours. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is putting workers on standby and making plans to bring in crews from other states. In New Jersey, where the storm is expected to come ashore, Jersey Central Power & Light has told employees to be prepared for extended shifts.

On October 28, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for every county in the state. He also asked for a pre-disaster declaration to better access federal assistance. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano ordered voluntary evacuations of the South Shore storm surge area, which includes the area south of Sunrise Highway and north of Route 25A and in elevations 15 feet above sea level or less on the North Shore. Shelters were opened at Nassau Community College, Levittown Memorial High School, Locust Valley High School, and SUNY Old Westbury. In Suffolk County, mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents of Fire Island and in surge zone areas in Babylon, Islip, Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southampton, and Southold. Shelters were opened at Hampton Bays High School, Sachem East High School, and the Brentwood High School Sonderling Building.[78] Most all schools closed in Nassau and Suffolk counties on October 29, including Nassau Community College, Molloy College, Hofstra University and Adelphi University. On October 28, President Obama signed an emergency declaration for the state of New York. The Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road suspended service beginning 7 p.m. October 27 through October 29 and possibly October 30. Starbucks closed all of its outlets in the city and Long Island on October 28 at 4 p.m. to let employees get home before the transit system shut down. The stores will remain closed on October 29.

Live Tracking Hurricane Sandy

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