Hurricane Sandy Hits Cuba as US Braces for 'Frankenstorm'
President Obama briefed as experts predict Irene-level damage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2012 1:37 PM CDT
This NOAA satellite image taken Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 1:45 a.m. EDT shows Hurricane Sandy over eastern Cuba.   (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

(Newser) Hurricane Sandy roared across the Caribbean today, dropping heavy rains, ripping the roofs off homes, and killing two people, the AP reports. The storm had a stunning growth spurt overnight, according to the Washington Post, becoming a category 2 hurricane, and a Cuban meteorologist says it "crossed the entire eastern region practically without losing any intensity or structure." And it's going to get worse: US meteorologists predict Sandy will combine with a winter storm and blast the Northeast, in what they're terming a "Frankenstorm."

President Obama has been briefed on the storm, which meteorologists say could cause $1 billion in damages. Some forecasters tell Reuters that Sandy may outdo Hurricane Irene; one likens it to the proverbial "perfect storm," saying it's "sort of a 1 plus 1 equals 3 effect." New York and New Jersey are expected to be hit the hardest, but the impact could be felt from Florida to Maine, the Wall Street Journal reports. It calls the event a "snor'eastercane," a portmanteau that utterly delights the folks over at Atlantic Wire, who offer advice for surviving the long storm; government meteorologists predict the snow could stretch from Sunday to Wednesday.