Hurricane Sandy, currently a Category 1 storm, exited the Bahamas today after leaving a total of at least 42 dead including 1 in the Bahamas and 41 in the Caribbeans.
The death toll in Haiti has climbed to at least 26 today.
Sandy was a Category 2 hurricane when it wreaked havoc in Cuba on Thursday, killing 11 people in eastern Santiago and Guantanamo provinces as its destructive winds and rain destroyed thousands of houses. Hurricane Sandy is Cuba’s deadliest storm since July 2005, when category 5 Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people and caused $2.4 billion in damage.
Of the 11 dead in Cuba includes a 4-month-old boy who was crushed when his home collapsed and an 84-year-old man in Santiago province. Near the city of Guantanamo, two men were killed by falling trees.
Sandy also killed a man in Jamaica on Wednesday after a boulder crashed through his house. In the Bahamas a 66-year-old man died after falling from his roof in upscale Lyford Cay late Thursday while trying to repair a window shutter, according to police.
One death was reported in Puerto Rico. According to police, a man in his 50s was swept away Friday by a swollen river due to heavy rainfall in the southern town of Juana Diaz.
Several U.S. East Coast states declare a State of Emergency
Bracing for what could potentially be a historic storm across the U.S. East Coast, governors in at least 5 states: Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York, have declared a State of Emergency. In addition, the governor of Washington D.C. has declared a state of emergency.
Hurricane Sandy is poised to make landfall late Monday or early Tuesday. Recent runs from weather models have narrowed the possible landfall marks of Sandy from the DelMarVa peninsula, north to Long Island, and along the south-facing New England coast.
Sandy’s potential impacts
The possible impacts/effects from Sandy on the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions continues to mount. Thanks largely to a blocking pattern near Greenland, Hurricane Sandy is expected to convert into a potentially mega storm as it collides with a winter storm system that is looking to exit the U.S. coast. This potential mega storm will take on the characteristics of a tropical storm in terms of wind and rain production but over a large area. Current projections has it that inland and coast areas from the Carolinas to Maine could experience tropical storm to hurricane force wind gusts.
Furthermore, there is the potential for historic coastal erosion and storm surge, and storm tides. Storm surge and ocean wave models continue to take that into account the combination of a full moon on Monday and strong winds indicating the potential for extremely high storm tides and waves.
Rainfall forecast through Wednesday on the order of 5-10 inches is possible across portions of the East Coast. On the cold side of the storm system, the season’s first heavy snow event will occur across the Appalachians. Current forecast models are projecting a foot or more to fall across the higher elevations of the Appalachians.
Tropical Storm Warnings are up along the coast of South and North Carolina as well as Florida’s east coast. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Bermuda.
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