Hurricane Sandy will make landfall Sunday, bringing with it widespread power outages and damage to thousands of homes and businesses in New York state, according to the state’s chief meteorologist.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Monday for the entire state.
But he warned that the storm will likely weaken and dissipate, and that the state will continue to receive “extraordinary amounts of precipitation.”
Cuomo said the storm could bring winds up to 90 mph (145 kph), which could lead to “catastrophic flooding” and destruction of infrastructure in New Jersey and New York.
A storm surge of 2 feet (50 cm) or more could hit New York City, according the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
It’s still too early to determine whether the storm is likely to make direct landfall in New England, which has more than 400,000 residents and has suffered from the effects of severe weather in recent years.
But New York’s storm surge threat is a little higher than other places because it’s so far inland, said Scott D’Orazio, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Poughkeepsie, New York, who added that there’s not a lot of room for a hurricane to reach the Atlantic before hitting the eastern coast.
A surge of two feet (60 cm) is possible in the New England area, but it’s not very likely, D’Osio said.
The storm will be much stronger in New Hampshire and New Jersey, where officials have said they’re still waiting to receive the initial information from the National Hurricane Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
A major hurricane, one of the strongest storms in the Atlantic, would cause catastrophic damage and flooding in New Orleans, where it will be expected to hit on Sunday afternoon.
The hurricane would be the strongest storm to make land on the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Jeanne in 2010, according onshore winds of at least 100 mph (200 kph) and sustained winds of 120 mph (180 kph).