WORST-CASE SCENARIO: What To Expect From Hurricane Sandy's Wrath

Hurricane Sandy

Photo: NOAA Environmental visualisation Laboratory

America’s Eastern Seaboard is bracing for Hurricane Sandy. The storm is barreling up the Atlantic Ocean and likely to converge with two other major weather systems — a winter storm in the west and a blast of cold air from Canada — as it moves ashore. 

The combined effect could be devastating.

“Most experts agreed that if the worst-case scenarios play out, it could be the most severe storm to hit the East Coast in a generation,” The New York Times’ Marc Santora writes

Here’s what to expect if Sandy makes landfall.  

Hurricane Sandy is currently churning up the Atlantic with sustained winds of 75 mph.

The storm is beginning to spread out as it nears the U.S. East Coast.

The latest computer models have Sandy landing somewhere between Delaware and Long Island.

It has all the elements to turn it into a megastorm.

'Take a hurricane moving up from the south. Mash in a colder storm moving in from the west. Add a ridge of high pressure extending through the atmosphere above the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Greenland, blocking the typical flow of the jet stream. That's the recipe for what will become 'Post-Tropical Storm Sandy,'' writes The Scientific American's David Biello.

Sandy could leave millions of people without power for more than a week.

'Generally, plan for a scenario where you are out of power for at least 3 days to up to a week due to strong winds and the likelihood of some downed trees and power lines,' The Washington Post's Jason Samenow says.

More than 50 million people across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast could be affected.

Sandy is expected to bring heavy rainfall (6 to 10 inches) and gale-force winds (40-70 mph) over and 800-mile swath of the country.

The Northeast could see winds of up to 65 miles per hour.

Although Sandy is likely to lose its hurricane status by the time it reaches the Northeast, it could still pack sustained winds of 65 mph, says National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simmons.

This is strong enough to shut down transit service in New York City.

The highest storm surge is expected along the southern New Jersey coast, including Atlantic City.

There is a 10 per cent chance that storm surge could be greater than four feet along New Jersey's coast. Major beach erosion and severe coastal flooding is expected.

The storm has disrupted the presidential campaign and could stall future plans.

Mitt Romney nixed all his campaign events in Virginia on Sunday. The storm is likely to interfere with more presidential campaign plans if it hits.

Up to two feet of snow could blanket West Virginia.

Ohio and Pennsylvania could also get snow.

New Jersey is going to get slammed.

The storm could be stronger and wider than Irene, which caused $15 billion in damage.

Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy could rival the worst East Coast storm on record, a fatal Hurricane that tore through Long Island in 1938.

The storm has already killed more than three dozen people in the Caribbean.

Hurricane Sandy tore through the Bahamas on Friday as a Category 1 storm. A day before that, it knocked down trees and buildings in Cuba, resulting in 11 deaths.

Follow our coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

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