East Coast Braces for Sandy

Storm could toss election up in the air

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 29, 2012 3:05 AM CDT | Updated Oct 29, 2012 7:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – Want to hear God laugh? Make a plan in the path of a Category 1 Frankenstorm. Sandy is disrupting lives and presidential campaign schedules all along the East Coast. Here's what's happening:

  • Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have canceled events in Virginia, and Obama today canceled a trip to Orlando in order to monitor the storm from Washington, WESH 2 reports.

  • "In times like this, one of the things Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another," Obama said yesterday from FEMA headquarters, saying the storm was "serious and big." The White House has declared emergencies in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, the AP reports.
  • The storm will give Obama a chance to look presidential. “The president will be in the thick of it—which is when he’s at his best,” a Democrat source told Politico. “There is no way for Romney to replicate that.”
  • The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ have both announced a rare closure today, the USA Today reports. The last time weather forced financial markets to close was for Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
  • New York has shut down all train, bus, and subway service, and closed school for 1.1 million students. "If you don't evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you," Michael Bloomberg warned residents.
  • Thousands of flights to and from the East Coast have been canceled, notes CNN.
  • Delaware has imposed a driving ban on all non-essential vehicles; anyone caught driving can be fined up to $115, WDDE reports.
  • The storm has also forced the crew of the HMS Bounty to abandon ship off the coast of North Carolina. Yes, that's the replica tall ship built for the film Mutiny on the Bounty, Reuters reports.
  • Still don't believe Sandy will be a big deal? Then take a look at these satellite photos comparing Sandy to Hurricane Irene.

Ambulances line up near the Hoboken University Medical Center, where patients were evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Hoboken, NJ.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Ocean water rolls over state highway NC 12 in Buxton, NC, on Hatteras Island at dawn on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, as Hurricane Sandy works its way north, battering the US East Coast.   (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Steve Earley)
High winds blow sea foam onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A car plows through a flooded street in the Ocean View area in Norfolk, VA., Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Employees of Garcia 's Landscaping prepare sandbags to line the edge of a commercial building located next to a canal to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, Oct., 28, 2012, in Amityville, NY.   (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
Sand is piled into barriers at Coney Island beach in New York Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 as Hurricane Sandy approaches.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Residents still hang around the Rehoboth boardwalk as businesses board up their windows in preparation for the approaching Hurricane Sandy, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.   (AP Photo/The News Journal, Suchat Pederson)
A surfer holds tight to his board against the strong winds and high surf of the Atlantic Ocean before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, Oct., 28, 2012, in Long Beach, NY.   (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
A man crosses the street in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
People talk while a news crew works outside a boarded up Congress Hall Hotel early Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Cape May, NJ.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
A lone pedestrian walks through an empty Times Square early, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)
This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 at 1:4545 EDT shows Hurricane Sandy turning to the north well east of Cape Hatteras, NC.   (AP Photo/Weather Underground)
An information board showing a canceled flight to New York, due to the emergence of Hurricane Sandy, at London Heathrow Airport, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Steve Parsons, PA)
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