HURRICANE TURNS TOWARD COAST, TARGETS NEW JERSEY, MAJOR FLOODING EXPECTED

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Hurricane Sandy could merge with a winter storm out of the west to become a new perfect storm. It poses "a combination of track, size, structure and strength that is unprecedented in the known historical record" on the east coast," according to Weather Channel meteorologist Stu Ostro.

Hurricane Hunters are now saying the hurricane is the most intense ever north of South Carolina.

The general "cone" of the hurricane has shifted a bit southward, so the direct wind effect on New York may be less than it could have been, but the threat from flooding remains in effect, and that was always the main concern.

Winds are already around 90 miles per ever.

Around 10 million people could lose power, estimates Johns Hopkins engineer Seth Guikema. Some estimates for property damage alone are as high as $15 billion — estimates for total economic damage are reaching $45 billion.

9,000 flights have been grounded in anticipation of the storm.

Weather experts have been emphasizing that this is going to be a "Marathon" storm, rather than an Irene-like sprint. 

TV broadcasters are finding many residents in vulnerable areas who have decided not to evacuate, having been bitten by the perceived overreaction from Irene.

President Obama due to give press conference on Sandy at 12.45pm ET.

New York City has evacuated coastal areas; shut down the MTA; canceled school for Monday and Tuesday; planned to close the Holland Tunnel and Brooklyn Batter Tunnel at 2 PM Monday.    Laguardia airport  may be underwater by Monday night. The New York Stock Market is closed Monday and probably Tuesday.  And you might want to stay away from Gowanus, which is expected to overflow with toxic poo.

Andrew Cuomo has announced that the New York State national guard will be deployed at 3pm. The worst moment of the storm for New Yorkers is expected to be around 8.15pm, Mayor Bloomberg said today.

New Jersey has evacuated coastal areas too. PATH is down and AMTRAK corridor service is down. Streets are already flooded in Atlantic City. Newark Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday.

Click here to see photos of the storm >

Here's what you should have at your home when the storm hits >

For the latest Sandy forecasts, visit the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center.

New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov for the latest emergency information. 



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