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October 28, 2012

Megastorm could wreak havoc across 800 miles of US

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. (AP) — Forget distinctions like tropical storm or hurricane. Don't get fixated on a particular track. Wherever it hits, the behemoth storm plodding up the East Coast will afflict a third of the country with sheets of rain, high winds and heavy snow, say officials who warned millions in coastal areas to get out of the way.

"We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people," said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As Hurricane Sandy trekked north from the Caribbean — where it left nearly five dozen dead — to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

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.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized for not interrupting a vacation in Florida while a snowstorm pummeled the state in 2010, broke off campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in North Carolina on Friday to return home.

"I can be as cynical as anyone," said Christie, who declared a state of emergency 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."

Eighty-five-year-old former sailor Ray Leonard agreed. And he knows to heed warnings.

Leonard and two crewmates in his 32-foot sailboat, Satori, rode out 1991's infamous "perfect storm," made famous by the Sebastian Junger best-selling book of the same name, before being plucked from the Atlantic off Martha's Vineyard, Mass., by a Coast Guard helicopter.

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FOCUS ON EARTH

Frostburg State University student Jamal Fisher makes adjustments to a three-dimensional Gray Crown Crane he constructed from recycled aluminum, part of the university’s Focus Frostburg observance of Earth Day. Flying animals that are considered endangered species was the theme of the students’ projects, which are on display in front of the Ort Library.

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Miller, Mtn. Ridge shut out Alco, 2-0

Mountain Ridge’s Kayla Stickley celebrates as she rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Allegany Campers at Carl Belt Field. The homer gave the Miners a 2-0 lead and that was the eventual final score.

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