Superstorm." "The Perfect Storm." "Frankenstorm."
Whatever you want to call it, the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, a "rare hybrid storm" that is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge to the mid-Atlantic coast, Long Island Sound and New York harbor, forecasters say, with winds expected to be at or near hurricane force when it makes landfall sometime on Monday.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the Category 1 hurricane was centered about 260 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and 395 miles south of New York City early Sunday, carrying maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and moving northeast at 10 mph.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the immediate, mandatory evacuation for low-lying coastal areas, including Coney Island, the Rockaways, Brighton Beach, Red Hook and some parts of lower Manhattan.
"If you don't evacuate, you're not just putting your own life at risk," Mayor Bloomberg said at a news conference Sunday. "You're endangering first responders who may have to rescue you."
Earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the suspension of all MTA service--including subways, buses, Long Island Railroad and Metro North--beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday. New York City Public Schools will be closed on Monday, the mayor said.
Sandy is expected to continue on a parallel path along the mid-Atlantic coast later Sunday before making a sharp turn toward the northwest on Monday--with the Jersey Shore and New York City in its projected path.