East Coast Braces for Hurricane Sandy

BY Larisa Epatko  October 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM EDT

Click on the image to get NOAA’s latest satellite image of the United States. Photo by NASA via Getty Images

Update 6:58 p.m. ET Sunday

According to an advisory issued at 5 p.m. ET Sunday, the National Hurricane Center warns that Sandy is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge flooding to the Mid-Atlantic coast, including Long Island Sound and New York Harbor. The storm will bring coastal hurricane winds and heavy Appalachian snows.

For the latest information and satellite images, visit the National Weather Service’s website.

Update 4:44 p.m. ET Friday

FEMA announced this afternoon that the agency is currently deploying Incident Management Assistance Teams to Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont to help the states prepare for Hurricane Sandy’s landfall in the coming days.

“Tropical storms can bring high winds, heavy rains and dangerous surf. Those along the eastern seaboard should prepare now, monitor local forecasts and follow the instructions of local officials,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in a press release. “This is a big storm with potential impacts beyond coastal areas – know your risks, have a plan, and be prepared. Now is the time to update your family communication plans, check your supplies, and stay informed.”

Hurricane Sandy, with its lashing winds and rains, could sweep the East Coast in an as-yet undetermined path this weekend and early next week, and preparations already are underway.

The latest update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Sandy is moving northward through the Bahamas on Friday, bringing severe storm conditions to the east coast of Florida, and North and South Carolina on Saturday through the evening. It is then expected to shift toward the northeast.

The hurricane could hit the Washington, D.C./Maryland area by early next week, but its specific path is uncertain.

Check out photos from Hurricane Sandy’s trek so far: Slide show by Rebecca Jacobson

Nonetheless, areas up and down the East Coast were in emergency preparation mode on Friday.

In New England, “the storm system will cause high seas, coastal flooding, and beach erosion,” no matter where it hits the coast, reported the Boston Globe.

Adding to the mess is the possibility that Hurricane Sandy will mix with a snowstorm forming over the Great Lakes, “creating a Frankenstein monster of weather badness” in New York, blogged the Wall Street Journal, dipping into the spirit of Halloween a little early.

As the storm hits colder air over the central Appalachian mountains, Sandy could dump anywhere from one to two feet of snow over central West Viriginia, said Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

We’ll have more information throughout the weekend here on the Rundown as events warrant.