City officials are preparing for Hurricane Sandy as it barrels toward the East Coast and threatens to turn into a “superstorm” if it collides with a strong cold front from the west.
Forecasters said that the double threat could turn into a massive storm not seen since 1991’s “Perfect Storm.” Some have even called the impending mix of rain, snow and strong winds “Frakenstorm,” a Halloween-inspired nickname.
According to the National Weather Service on Friday, Sandy is expected to turn toward the northeast on Saturday, followed by a turn to the northwest early next week, with direct impacts expected for the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast U.S., delivering strong winds and rain to the area beginning on Saturday.
“The National Weather Service informs me that Hurricane Sandy is headed toward Long Island,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said in a statement. “Although the storm track could change, the time for preparation is now.”
Long Island Power Authority spokesman Mark Gross said that LIPA has its activated storm emergency procedures.
“They are mobilizing everything and looking to secure off-Island crews as well as on-Island contractors to assist with power restorations and other damage,” Gross said, adding that LIPA will be opening its Communication Command Center.
According to CNN, forecasters said on Friday morning that Sandy — currently a Category 1 Hurricane with winds of 80 miles per hour that has already claimed two dozen lives in the Caribbean — was losing shape.
On Friday afternoon, forecasters said that Sandy was about 460 miles southeast of Charleston, with forecasters saying that the storm is less likely to turn to the east, and it appeared that it would make landfall over Maryland by Tuesday.
In Long Beach, city officials said that they are not taking any chances and are preparing for the storm, especially after the damage caused last year in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.
City Manager Jack Schnirman said that he has been holding a series of hurricane preparation meetings with department heads and workers, and explained that beach maintenance crews are constructing 8-foot berms along the beaches in the event of a possible storm surge.