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Friday, October 26, 2012

“Frankenstorm” may Become Worst in 100 Years

Hurricane Sandy will probably grow into a “Frankenstorm” that may become the worst to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years if current forecasts are correct.a


Sandy may combine with a second storm coming out of the Midwest to create a system that would rival the New Englandhurricane of 1938 in intensity, said Paul Kocin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in College Park, Maryland. The hurricane currently passing the Bahamas has killed 21 people across the Caribbean, the Associated Press reported, citing local officials.

“If the storm follows the current hurricane center forecast, we are looking at over $5 billion in damage,” Chuck Watson, director of research and development at Kinetic Analysis Corp. in Silver Spring, Maryland, said yesterday.
Watson said the track may change quite a bit between now and early next week. An accurate assessment of potential damage from wind and rain probably can’t be made until late this week.

States Prepare

Governments along the East Coast are preparing for Sandy’s impact. New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo directed state agencies to monitor the storm and Massachusetts’s Emergency Management Agency warned residents to expect the worst.
New York City has a 55 percent chance of winds of at least 39 mph by Oct. 30, according to estimates by Tropical Storm Risk, a consortium of experts on insurance, risk management and climate supported by the U.K. government.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was taking routine precautions at this stage.
“A good message to everybody is you should always have a ‘go’ plan,” he said at a news conference yesterday. “Particularly if you live near the water in a low area, you may have to be evacuated. I wouldn’t plan on it today. Listen to the radio and if necessary follow the instructions.”
The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

U.S. Utilities

Utilities along the East Coast were monitoring the storm. Nine mid-Atlantic power companies held their first conference call Oct. 24 to discuss how crews will be dispatched to the hardest-hit areas, Myra Oppel, a spokeswoman for Pepco, Washington’s electric utility, said yesterday in an interview.
Pepco retained 400 contractors already working on its system so they’d be available if the storm hits that area, Oppel said. New Jersey’s Public Service Electric & Gas Co. prepared sandbags to protect substations.
Exelon Corp. (EXC)’s Baltimore Gas & Electric urged its 1.2 million power customers in central Maryland to prepare for power failures and flooding. “We’re taking this extremely seriously,” Robert Gould, a utility spokesman, said in an interview yesterday.

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