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A super storm that is moving up the east is potentially threatening 50 million residents and according to forecasters the storm is gaining strength. The National Hurricane Center reported on Monday morning that Hurricane Sandy increased its top sustained winds from 75 mph to 85 mph. The storm also has high wind gusts and is steadily picking up speed.
Hurricane Sandy which was reportedly a Category 1 hurricane Monday morning, is moving north-northwest at 20 mph after moving northeast Sunday night.
At 8:00 a.m. ET Monday, the storm was centered about 310 miles south-southeast of New York City. Energy crews from Houston made preparations to assist crews in the eastern corridor of the country that will be affected by the super storm. More than 60 CenterPoint Energy linemen and support teams made plans to head to areas located in Maryland and D.C. Monday morning.
Gale force winds were reported over coastal North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, coastal New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Forecasters expect that the hurricane will hook inland Monday and collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. The system nicknamed “Frankenstorm” is expected to cause widespread power outages for many residents that live on the eastern coast of the country as well as in inland.
Hurricane Sandy is predicted to strengthen even more as it approaches the East Coast, bringing with it hurricane-force winds. The system is also expected to reach land by Monday afternoon. Flooding is being seen as a huge threat as many areas could have rainfall amounts that total between 5 and 8 inches over a 48-hour period.
The full moon is expected to worsen conditions as storm surges and high tides along the Eastern Seaboard will rise about 20 percent higher than normal.
Cicely C. Mitchell/ CBS Radio Houston