1. A NORTHBOUND HURRICANE
Hurricane Sandy is moving slowly northeast and but is expected to turn to the north and west later Sunday and Monday, forecasters say. At some point, it’s expected to become what’s known as an extratropical storm. Unlike a hurricane, which gets its power from warm ocean waters, extratropical systems are driven by temperature contrasts in the atmosphere.
Although Sandy is a hurricane, it’s important not to focus too much on its official category or its precise path (current models show it making landfall over New Jersey or Delaware sometime early Tuesday). Louis Uccellini, environmental prediction chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press that given Sandy’s east-to-west track into New Jersey, the worst of the storm surge could be just to the north, in New York City, on Long Island and in northern New Jersey.
Boston and Philadelphia should expect the worst storm conditions Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.
It’s a massive system that will affect a huge swath of the eastern U.S., regardless of exactly where it hits or its precise wind speed. For example, tropical storm-force winds can be felt more than 500 miles from the storm’s center, according to the National Hurricane Center. It’s already caused some minor flooding in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and has prompted evacuations elsewhere. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has personnel and supplies spread as far west as the Ohio River Valley, said Craig Fugate, the agency’s director.
2. EARLY WINTER STORM
Sandy is expected to merge with a wintry system from the west, at which point it will become the powerful superstorm that has forecasters and officials across the eastern U.S. Winds from that system will pull Sandy back toward the U.S. mainland.
3. ARCTIC AIR FROM THE NORTH
Frigid air coming south from Canada also is expected to collide with Sandy and the wintry storm from the west, creating a megastorm that is expected to park over the northeast for days. The brunt of the storm could hit areas farther inland. Officials are bracing for the worst: nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow.
4. HIGH TIDES COULD WORSEN FLOODING
Further complicating matters is the possibility for dangerous storm surges: A full moon means the tides will be higher than usual, which will make it easier for the storm’s powerful winds to push water into low-lying areas. That, coupled with the threat of several inches of rain, has officials working to shore up flood defenses.
Storm surge could reach anywhere from 2 to 11 feet along the northeastern coast, forecasters say. Inland river flooding also is a serious concern.
5. COMBO OF SNOW, WIND INCREASES RISK FOR WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES
Storms in recent years have left hundreds of thousands of people in the eastern U.S. without power, sometimes for days at a time. Utilities have been bringing in extra crews and lining up tree trimmers so they’re prepared, and with good reason. The superstorm brings two possibilities for knocking out electricity. For one, hurricane-force winds of at least 74 mph could send tree branches into power lines, or even topple entire trees and power poles. Those left standing could succumb to snow, which could weigh down still-leafy branches enough to also topple trees.
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Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count
KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.
City woman charged in domestic call
CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Arrest made in alleged drug deal
CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.
Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers
CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.
Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident
OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.
New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
10 things to know for today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
Park Service opens Canal Classrooms
CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.
City, county officials to talk baseball at work session
CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.
Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner
KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.
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