The storm is predicted to affect between 50 million and 60 million people, emergency management and weather officials warned Saturday afternoon, ABC News reports.
The disaster will reportedly affect the eastern part of the country, flooding around Maryland and Pennsylvania and up to two feet of snow in West Virginia, predicted Louis Uccellini, director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
“This is not just going to be a coastal event,” said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center. “Virginia northward should prepare for weather to go downhill over the weekend.”
Sandy was downgraded from hurricane status this morning but the storm won it back a few hours later, after hurricane-force winds kicked up again.
“Air Force hurricane hunters have been out flying in and around the storm and they found that it’s reintensified and it’s gotten back to a hurricane with peak winds of about 75 miles per hour,” National Hurricane Center meteorologist Chris Lancey said.
Gov. Chris Christie has recently declared a state of emergency in New Jersey and now the local people are to be evacuated from South Jersey barrier islands by Sunday afternoon in preparation for the upcoming hurricane, which is expected to make landfall in Delaware late Monday or early Tuesday.
Governors from North Carolina, which the disaster is expected to reach Sunday, to Connecticut also declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday, The Huffington Post writes.
Gov. Christie, who was criticized for not interrupting a family vacation in Florida while a snowstorm pummeled the state in 2010, suspended campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in North Carolina on Friday to return home.
“I can be as cynical as anyone,” he explained Saturday. “But when the storm comes, if it’s as bad as they’re predicting, you’re going to wish you weren’t as cynical as you otherwise might have been.”
The former Massachusetts governor had to cancel a trip to Virginia scheduled for Sunday, when the state is expected to begin feeling the impact of the approaching storm, Reuters claims. He will go instead to Ohio for appearances with Paul Ryan, his vice presidential running mate.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is monitoring Sandy and working with state and locals governments to provide them with the resources needed to prepare, administration officials said.
“The president is being regularly updated on the storm and ongoing preparations, and he has directed his team to continue to bring all available resources to bear as state and local partners continue to prepare for the storm,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The U.S. president also had to suspend his campaign stop with former President Bill Clinton in Virginia on Monday as well as a trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Tuesday because of the upcoming storm, news agencies report.