As 50 million Americans brace for the impact that superstorm Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a. "Frankenstorm") will cause in the Northeastern United States, the National Hurricane Center is warning to stay away from the monster storm that has already claimed 67 lives through the Caribbean, and is forcing the closing of schools, businesses and mass transportation for millions of Americans.
Anna Kate Twitty, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, told CNN the organization has multiple shelters across seven states where evacuees can find "a safe place, a warm meal and emotional support." It is worth noting that 350,000 people have been evacuated from New York City, in what is only the second time in history when parts of lower Manhattan are evacuated because of a hurricane (the first time was in August 2011 because of Hurricane Irene).
Sustained winds of more than 30 mph have been recorded across the New York City area, and wind gusts of more than 50 mph have been felt at La Guardia Airport in New York. Currently, the hurricane is moving at about 15 mph and is expected to make landfall late tonight within a few hours of midnight — creating a massive storm surge across the region.
"It's going to be bad from tomorrow morning through Tuesday evening," Jim Lee, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said Sunday. "The peak of the storm, when it will be most severe, is going to be from noon tomorrow until midnight Tuesday."
Sandy is also disrupting the presidential election, with both candidates cancelling campaign events at less than 10 days to Election Day, in what could be the closest presidential contest ever between an incumbent President Barack Obama walking a fine line between coming across as a strong Commander in Chief or a desperate incumbent, and a Republican challenger Mitt Romney risking coming across as an insensible and power hungry challenger.