Epic, “Life-Threatening Frankenstorm” to Hit Eastern United States Tonight, NYC Shut Down

By Alan Rappeport, Hannah Kuchler, Shahien Nasiripour, and Shannon Bond. An epic hurricane is due to hit the eastern United States on Monday night, affecting up to 60m people and forcing the closure of equity market trading on Wall Street. The approach of hurricane Sandy, which has already killed more than 60 people in the Caribbean, has already derailed presidential campaigning plans and caused New York to shut down its public transport system.

The US National Weather Service said that Sandy, packing winds of up to 75mph, was expected to bring “life-threatening storm surge flooding” to the mid-Atlantic states. Hurricane Sandy has brought tropical storm conditions, including rain and strong winds, to North Carolina and Virginia. It is expected to come ashore on the central New Jersey coast on Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service, with effects stretching as far north as New England.

Sandy is forecast to combine with two other storms in the coming days, creating what the weather service has called a “Frankenstorm”.

Thousands of people have been evacuated and power blackouts and damage could affect up to 60m people, said forecasters. The region is expected to be paralysed, as more than 3,000 flights have already been cancelled and Amtrak’s train service will be shut down in the northeast on Monday. Read more from this story HERE.

Grand Central Deserted and Subway CLOSED for Only Second Time in History as New York Goes into Lock Down

By Beth Stebner and Louise Boyle. Frantic passengers sprinted for the last trains pulling out of Grand Central Station in New York City this evening as the transport system shut down for only the second time in history.

New York is on lock down in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy causing trains, the subway and buses to stop at 7pm on Sunday night.

Cavernous Grand Central on 42nd Street was eerily deserted as the NYPD patrolled to make sure every passenger had left.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that those living in low-lying areas must evacuate and that all public schools will be closed tomorrow as the storm barrels towards the city.

Police officers went door-to-door tonight, taking the names of those who had ignored the mandatory evacuation order. Read more from this story HERE.