Hurricane Sandy Kills At Least 40 In Caribbean, Will Hit East Coast Early Next Week

Hurricane Sandy is still gaining strength but it has already caused catastrophic damage. The storm, dubbed Frankenstorm, killed at least 40 people last night in the Caribbean.

The storm brought heavy rains that caused flash floods and landslides in the Caribbean. At least 40 people were killed.

Reuters reports that Hurricane Sandy, which already stretches 550 miles wide, has started to merge with a polar air mass and will soon form a “super storm” as it moves toward the eastern United States. The Frankenstorm will then make its way toward the east coast where it is expected to make landfall somewhere between Virginia and New York early next week.

Todd Kimberlain, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said:

“Its structure is evolving as we speak because it’s interacting with this weather feature at higher levels of the atmosphere … The models are suggesting that the storm could actually become better organized or intensify a little bit, not due to the normal processes than we would expect for a tropical cyclone but more related to this weather feature.”

Currently, Hurricane Sandy is about 400 miles to the south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm is currently a category 1 hurricane with winds blowing at about 75 mph.

James Franklin, branch chief of the National Hurricane Center, said that the wide and slow moving would have an effect on a large portion of the east coast.

Franklin said:

“A large number of folks over a very large area of many, many states are going to experience a significant wind event of strong tropical-force winds to perhaps near hurricane-force winds covering a large area. It’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impacts for a lot of people.”

A forecast report from AccuWeather.com predicts that Hurricane Sandy could be more costly than Hurricane Irene.

The report reads:

“This will then be a catastrophic storm for the Middle Atlantic and Northeast. It will not be a purely tropical system, with a core of powerful winds near the center, but rather more like a Nor’easter, with strong winds over a larger area. Damaging winds will affect areas from Virginia up into New York and New England, leading to widespread power outages and property damage.”