NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After briefly having weakened to a tropical storm, Sandy was back to Category 1 hurricane status Saturday as it prepared to strike the Northeast as the infamous Frankenstorm.
Landfall for Hurricane Sandy is expected late Monday night. Current models indicated midday Saturday that landfall would be close the Delaware Bay, but it could be anywhere between the Virginia coastline and Long Island.
A coastal flood watch has been added for the entire area.
As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the Category 1 hurricane was producing sustained winds of 75 mph and moving northeast 11 mph. It was passing 335 miles southeast of Charleston, S.C.
Sandy will bank northwest after Monday morning and head for the Northeastern U.S.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Vanessa Murdock reported Sandy will progress in a north-northeasterly direction for the next day or so. The storm is expected to gain strength as it banks northwest and heads for the New Jersey coastline.
Rain and breezy conditions are expected to pick up by Sunday evening. The worst of the storm arrives Monday, with torrential rain in some places, as well as winds gusting to 70 mph or more.
Five inches of rain or more are expected, Murdock reported.
The entire Tri-State Area can expect hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or more beginning midday Monday. The peak winds are expected to arrive Monday afternoon through early Tuesday morning, after landfall.
Storm surges could reach 3 to 7 feet, and possible tornadoes are also anticipated — particularly in the northeast quadrant.
The trends are expected to continue Tuesday, until the system tapers to light showers and breezy conditions Tuesday evening. But more effects are even possible after that.
CBS News hurricane consultant David Bernard said on CBS This Morning Saturday that residents of some areas could see the greatest flooding in their lifetimes, as the storm makes landfall from east to west.
A full moon as the storm makes landfall Monday night could also exacerbate storm surges due to multiple tide cycles.
Power outages resulting from the storm could be worse than those from Irene, Bernard reported.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was preparing Saturday for major impacts all along the Eastern Seaboard.
FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said the system will have a variety of effects from one location to another.
“What FEMA is doing in conjunction with our state and local partners is preparing for not only the coastal impacts of the storm, but also the potential for flooding, power outages, and winter storm. And if you think talking about a winter storm in a hurricane is unusual, trust me, with this storm, we’re going to be dealing with a lot of weather over a very large geographical area,” Fugate said.
The National Hurricane Center did not have an exact estimate Saturday afternoon about what area would sustain the most severe damage.
“Larger storm surge values and coastal areas, longer periods of potentially damaging winds at the coast and inland over a larger area, and then longer periods of heavy rain over a larger area, so there’s going to be an inland flood potential,” said National Hurricane Center director Rick Knabb.
A state of emergency has been declared for every county of New York state, in hopes of preventing some of the chaos suffered after Hurricane Irene. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has also declared a state of emergency, and ordered evacuations by 4 p.m. Sunday for the Barrier Islands and the Atlantic City casinos.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has also declared a state of emergency.
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