Hurricane Sandy Strengthening, Putting 50 Million People at Risk


FEMA administrator Craig Fugate urged people in Sandy's path to take the storm seriously and to heed any evacuation orders.

"The time for preparing and talking is about over. People need to be acting now," Fugate said.

New York City transit officials shut down the subway system, the largest rapid transit system in the world at 7 p.m. Sunday. Sandy could potentially create a storm surge capable of overtopping the Manhattan flood walls, filling the subway tunnels with water.

VIDEO: Ginger Zee, Matt Gutman track the latest weather across America.
Hurricane Sandy's Intensity Fluctuates, Threatens East Coast States

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the evacuation of areas of lower Manhattan and the Rockaways.

"If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," Bloomberg said at a news conference. "This is a serious and dangerous storm."

New York City Schools will also be closed Monday, Bloomberg said.

Given its size and expected duration of two to three days, Sandy could turn out to be comparable to 1991's Hurricane Grace, also known as the "Perfect Storm," and a cyclone that struck near the Appalachians in November 1950, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said. But, Fugate said, officials don't try to make historical comparisons until after a storm hits.

VIDEO: John Schriffen highlights measures emergency officials are preparing to take.
New York Lockdown: Preparing for Hurricane Sandy

7 Devastating Hurricanes: Where Will Sandy Rank?

Power Outages

Power companies are being proactive before Sandy makes landfall, trimming trees and putting equipment place to hopefully minimize the number of people left without power after the storm.

Last year, Hurricane Irene left 7 million homes without power in the same area Sandy is expected to batter with wind and rain.

Hurricane Sandy: Supplies You Should Have

Hurricane Sandy Update
Hurricane Sandy Update

"The best thing is to be prepared, and I think that's where we are. We're prepared for what the worst will bring," said Vince Maione, who has been with Atlantic City Electric, a company serving south New Jersey, for 28 years.

Travel Woes

As of this morning, 6,500 flights in the U.S. had been cancelled, according to Flight Aware.

ABCs of Hurricane Sandy Travel

People scheduled to fly to or from the eastern third of the country are encouraged to check their flight status.

VIDEO: 66 million Americans are in path of "super storm" that may land in New Jersey Tuesday.
Hurricane Sandy Menaces East Coast: Americans on Alert for Rain, Snow, Wind

ABC News' Russell Goldman, Sydney Lupkin and Genevieve Shaw Brown contributed to this report

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 17585721. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 17585721. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 17585721. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 17585721. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 17585721.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner is shown here at age 10 in this undated childhood family photo.
Courtesy Linda Thompson
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner celebrates after winning 1500M race during Decathlon at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1976.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PHOTO: A female coyote lay in an animal carrier after being captured by Special Operations officers on Manhattan?s west side, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in New York.
New York City Police Department Special Operations Division via AP
Seth Poppel/Yearbook Library