Sandy a ‘unique, large, dangerous’ storm

  • Al Daisey walks in the floodwaters in front of his home in Fenwick Island, Del., on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Al Daisey walks in the floodwaters in front of his home in Fenwick Island, Del., on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • A maintenance worker named Vitto attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as a child walking by takes advantage of the temporary structure. Areas along the Northeast Coast are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)A maintenance worker named Vitto attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as a child walking by takes advantage of the temporary structure. Areas along the Northeast Coast are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
  • A news crew wades through sea foam blown onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area.  Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)A news crew wades through sea foam blown onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • A police officer sets up a road block on South Oregon Inlet Road as water from Hurricane Sandy covers the road in Nags Head, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)A police officer sets up a road block on South Oregon Inlet Road as water from Hurricane Sandy covers the road in Nags Head, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Ocean water rolls over NC 12 at the north end of Buxton, N.C. at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Waves from offshore Hurricane Sandy are battering Hatteras Island. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)Ocean water rolls over NC 12 at the north end of Buxton, N.C. at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Waves from offshore Hurricane Sandy are battering Hatteras Island. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)
  • High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency.  (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Skip Horney shields himself from the blowing rain after helping secure boats at Broad Creek Marina in Wanchese, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)Skip Horney shields himself from the blowing rain after helping secure boats at Broad Creek Marina in Wanchese, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy moves up the East Coast. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Mike Strobel fills sand bags for his business, Mike's Carpet Connection, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Fenwick Island, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Mike Strobel fills sand bags for his business, Mike's Carpet Connection, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Fenwick Island, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Rehoboth Beach, Del., business owners Darryl Ciarlante, left, and Joe Zuber, center, board their windows as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Suchat Pederson)Rehoboth Beach, Del., business owners Darryl Ciarlante, left, and Joe Zuber, center, board their windows as Hurricane Sandy approaches the area. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Suchat Pederson)
  • Tom Morehead, a driver with Ocean City, Md., public transportation, assists Evelyn Krainatc to a convention center on her way to a shelter, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Tom Morehead, a driver with Ocean City, Md., public transportation, assists Evelyn Krainatc to a convention center on her way to a shelter, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md.  Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Residents still hang around the Rehoboth boardwalk as businesses board up their windows in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Suchat Pederson)Residents still hang around the Rehoboth boardwalk as businesses board up their windows in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/The News Journal, Suchat Pederson)
  • Molly White, 9, from Frankford, Del., covers her head as she is pelted by blowing sand on the beach, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast in Ocean City, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)Molly White, 9, from Frankford, Del., covers her head as she is pelted by blowing sand on the beach, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast in Ocean City, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • A worker with the Delaware Department of Transportation directs traffic off of Highway 1 at Fred Hudson Road as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Bethany Beach, Del. Highway 1 is closed northbound from this point with water over the road according to the Delaware State Police. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)A worker with the Delaware Department of Transportation directs traffic off of Highway 1 at Fred Hudson Road as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Bethany Beach, Del. Highway 1 is closed northbound from this point with water over the road according to the Delaware State Police. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Passengers wait for their flight at at LaGuardia airport, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 in New York. Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the Northeast buttoned up against the onslaught of a superstorm (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)Passengers wait for their flight at at LaGuardia airport, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 in New York. Tens of thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the Northeast buttoned up against the onslaught of a superstorm (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
  • People line up looking for taxis, as they leave Battery Park City in lower Manhattan where a mandatory evacuation order is in place as Hurricane Sandy approaches the Northeast, in New York. (AP Photo/Santiago Lyon)People line up looking for taxis, as they leave Battery Park City in lower Manhattan where a mandatory evacuation order is in place as Hurricane Sandy approaches the Northeast, in New York. (AP Photo/Santiago Lyon)
  • Plywood covers part of the entrance to Bowling Green Station in Battery Park as storm preparation is done in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)Plywood covers part of the entrance to Bowling Green Station in Battery Park as storm preparation is done in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
  • Customers shop for food at a Supermarket in Manhattan.  (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)Customers shop for food at a Supermarket in Manhattan. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
  • A sign informs subway riders of changes in service in the hours before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy in New York Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Areas in the Northeast Region prepared Sunday for the arrival of the hurricane and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)A sign informs subway riders of changes in service in the hours before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy in New York Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Areas in the Northeast Region prepared Sunday for the arrival of the hurricane and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
  • A public shelter in Seward Park High School on the lower east side begins to fill in preparation of the storm in New York.  (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)A public shelter in Seward Park High School on the lower east side begins to fill in preparation of the storm in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
  • A technician with the Battery Conservancy removes below-ground fountain operation equipment near the water's edge at Battery Park in New York. Areas in the Northeast are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)A technician with the Battery Conservancy removes below-ground fountain operation equipment near the water's edge at Battery Park in New York. Areas in the Northeast are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy and a possible flooding storm surge. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
  • Two pedestrians walk along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in Atlantic City N.J., as the area prepares for Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)Two pedestrians walk along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in Atlantic City N.J., as the area prepares for Hurricane Sandy. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
  • One-year-old Ever Long and her dog, Bailey, peek out the back door of their boarded house for the coming storm as some prepare for the approaching Hurricane Sandy, in Bay View Beach, Del. (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson)One-year-old Ever Long and her dog, Bailey, peek out the back door of their boarded house for the coming storm as some prepare for the approaching Hurricane Sandy, in Bay View Beach, Del. (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson)
  • A surfer holds tight to his board against the strong winds and high surf of the Atlantic Ocean before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, Oct., 28, 2012, in Long Beach, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)A surfer holds tight to his board against the strong winds and high surf of the Atlantic Ocean before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, Oct., 28, 2012, in Long Beach, N.Y. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
  • Jeremy Seidel, of Waterford, Conn., covers storefront windows with plywood in the Watch Hill section of Westerly, R.I., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in preparation for high winds from the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)Jeremy Seidel, of Waterford, Conn., covers storefront windows with plywood in the Watch Hill section of Westerly, R.I., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in preparation for high winds from the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
  • Michael Bolick works on the roof of his friend Chris Villarreal's house Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012,  in Sunset Park, N.C. Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is a couple of hundred miles off the North Carolina coast and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night. The National Hurricane Center said Sunday afternoon that the storm has winds of 75 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm's center. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Jeff Janowski)Michael Bolick works on the roof of his friend Chris Villarreal's house Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Sunset Park, N.C. Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is a couple of hundred miles off the North Carolina coast and the center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night. The National Hurricane Center said Sunday afternoon that the storm has winds of 75 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend up to 175 miles from the storm's center. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Jeff Janowski)
  • A man walks the boardwalk in Ventnor, N.J., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as the area prepares for Hurricane Sandy.  (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)A man walks the boardwalk in Ventnor, N.J., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as the area prepares for Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
  • **FILE** Utility workers with Dominion repair damaged lines (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)**FILE** Utility workers with Dominion repair damaged lines (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrives at Seward Park High School on the lower east side, the site of one of many public shelters set up in preparation of the storm, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in New York.  (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)Mayor Michael Bloomberg arrives at Seward Park High School on the lower east side, the site of one of many public shelters set up in preparation of the storm, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
  • Senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart plots NOAA and Air Force aircraft fixes at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is heading north from the Caribbean, where it left nearly five dozen dead, to meet a winter storm and a cold front, plus high tides from a full moon, and experts said the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)Senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart plots NOAA and Air Force aircraft fixes at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is heading north from the Caribbean, where it left nearly five dozen dead, to meet a winter storm and a cold front, plus high tides from a full moon, and experts said the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
  • The Flaven family pack up their cars before evacuating the area in Fairfield, Conn., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Sunday in parts of Bridgeport, Fairfield, East Haven, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Branford. Voluntary evacuations are being urged in parts of Westport and New London. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)The Flaven family pack up their cars before evacuating the area in Fairfield, Conn., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Sunday in parts of Bridgeport, Fairfield, East Haven, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Branford. Voluntary evacuations are being urged in parts of Westport and New London. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
  • Fairfield University students leave the campus in Fairfield, Conn. Sunday Oct. 28, 2012. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/The Connecticut Post, Cathy Zuraw) Fairfield University students leave the campus in Fairfield, Conn. Sunday Oct. 28, 2012. Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas Sunday as big cities and small towns across the U.S. Northeast braced for the onslaught of a superstorm threatening some 60 million people along the most heavily populated corridor in the nation. (AP Photo/The Connecticut Post, Cathy Zuraw)

Officials on Sunday implored residents of the Washington area to use common sense and respect nature’s will as Hurricane Sandy steered toward its clash with wintry weather from the north.

What has been called an unprecedented weather event closed schools and government offices and left people up and down the East Coast preparing for power outages and collapsed roofs before a single raindrop fell.

Sandy was headed north from the Caribbean, where it killed more than five dozen people, and was expected to hook west toward the mid-Atlantic coast and come ashore late Monday or early Tuesday, most likely in New Jersey, colliding with a storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. The series of events has created a potentially devastating mix that could affect the lives of 50 million people from the East Coast to the Great Lakes, forecasters said.

“Let me be clear — this storm is unique, large, dangerous and unlike anything our region has experienced in a very long time,” D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Sunday at the city’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

President Obama traveled the nearly three miles from the White House to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters for a briefing by agency officials and a conference call with governors from states in the storm’s path. The president pledged federal aid to states affected by the storm.

“My message to the governors, as well as to the mayors, is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape. We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules,” he said.

Later Sunday, he declared a state of emergency in the District, as had been requested by city leaders.

New York City announced the closings of its mass-transit and school systems, both the nation’s largest, and ordered some 375,000 residents to leave low-lying areas ahead of the massive storm approaching the eastern third of the U.S.

Broadway took the threat of the mammoth storm seriously, with many theater owners canceling Sunday evening shows.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie’s emergency declaration will force the shutdown of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos for the fourth time in the city’s 34-year history of legalized gambling. Officials said they would begin evacuating Atlantic City’s 30,000 residents at noon Sunday, busing them to inland shelters and schools.

For Monday, nearly 4,000 flights were canceled.

Amtrak said it was canceling all service north of New York at 7 p.m. Sunday. Nearly all service across the Eastern Seaboard will be canceled beginning Monday.

In the D.C. area, Metro announced closures of its rail and bus systems after the completion of Sunday service until further notice. The transit system reported that it placed sandbags around its tunnels and stations. Both the Maryland Transit Administration and Virginia Railway Express announced Sunday that their commuter-rail trains would not run Monday.

‘Killer storm’

r. Gray and emergency officials have not imposed any curfews or restrictions on movement around the city.

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About the Author

Megan Poinski

Megan Poinski is the former deputy metro editor at The Washington Times. She has worked as a reporter, editor and web designer for more than a decade, covering mostly local, state and federal government in Ohio, Maryland and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Throughout her career, she has received reporting awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, Capitolbeat, and Associated Press Managing ...

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