Hurricane Sandy Roaring Up East Coast

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Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is heading northeast on an offshore track parallel to the Southeast coast off the Carolinas. NPR's Allison Keyes updates with some of the preparations people are making for the storm.


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The nation is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, from the East Coast all the way into the Ohio Valley. The storm killed almost 60 people in the Caribbean, and U.S. officials are warning the storm could affect as many as 60 million people NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: All along the coast people like Carl Stevens in Virginia Beach were getting ready to hunker down for a while.

CARL STEVENS: The biggest thing I'm getting is a anchor kit for my shed, just in case the gusts don't take the roof off.

KEYES: Over in Brooklyn, New York Nostrand Deli Farm owner Ali Baba said folk were stocking up on storm basics.

ALI BABA: Well, we sell a lot of water today.

KEYES: People were also buying batteries and candles, and some stores in Washington, D.C. were already running out. Several states have declared states of emergency, including Connecticut, where Governor Dannel Malloy warned residents to watch out for travel delays.

GOVERNOR DANNEL MALLOY: Residents should be prepared for possible road closures, in addition to suspension of services of Metro North and Amtrak.

KEYES: In New York, Governor Cuomo's director of operations Howard Glaser warned officials may decide to stop running mass transit later today in the face of forecasts of high winds and flooding.

HOWARD GLASER: We are putting in a place a contingency plan for the possibility of a shutdown.

KEYES: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is ordering the evacuation by this afternoon of the Garden State's coastal islands.

GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: For the Barrier Islands from Sandy Hook south to Cape May. In Atlantic City, I've ordered that the casinos be evacuated.

KEYES: The National Hurricane Center says this large, slow-moving storm will mean long periods of damaging winds, heavy rains, and flood potential far inland from the coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Louis Uccellini adds...

LOUIS UCCELLINI: The flooding aspect is mid-Atlantic into Pennsylvania right now. The wind is all the way from the Carolinas up into southern New England back into the Ohio Valley.

KEYES: Power companies from Pepco to PSE&G are warning of possible extended outages. Allison Keyes, NPR News, Washington.

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