Federal Officials: 'Time to Act is Now'

National Hurricane Center forecasters caution the public to not underestimate Hurricane Sandy based on its storm category or projections on where it will come ashore.

Federal emergency management and weather officials said Sunday that the time for preparing for Hurricane Sandy is rapidly coming to an end.

"The time for preparing and talking is about over," said Craig Fugate, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. People need to be acting about now."

Hurricane Sandy is expected to affect as many as 50 million people as it makes its westward turn toward the East Coast.

While the most recent maps show the center of the storm tracking toward New Jersey, forecasters are hesitant to pinpoint a specific area for landfall.

Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, said forecasters are still looking for the storm to come ashore somewhere between the Delmarva coastline and Rhode Island.

Knabb cautioned the public not to focus on the track of the center of the storm or that it is a Category One hurricane.

"I don't want folks to focus on the time of arrival because conditions are already starting to go downhill in coastal areas," said Knabb. "The system is large and of long duration...it could be a two-day event in many locations including inland locations."

Heavy winds are expected from the Carolinas to New England through the middle of the week. Those winds are expected to cause massive power outages. One estimate from Johns Hopkins University places the number of estimated outages at 10 million from the Mid-Atlantic to New England.

In Maryland, BGE and Pepco have brought in crews from as far away as New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.

Storm and tidal surges will combine along the coast and could produce flooding as much as 11 feet above ground level.

Knabb said forecasters predict inland flooding will become a problem early, especially in Maryland and Pennsylvania. He added on Sunday morning that flooding could also be a problem in places like upstate New York and southern portions of Massachusettes.

Kathy October 28, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Driving in from Tenn, trying to get home before the storm, and hanger passed 50 or 60 electric Company trucks from texas heading our way. Waitress at a diner says they have been coming by for two days now!
Steve October 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM
After the Derecho I had a cookout for a crew from Arkansas. They were a hard working bunch.
Deeg October 28, 2012 at 06:18 PM
That was very kind of you! I'm sure they appreciated it.
Steve October 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM
It was nothing. What does it take to fire up the grill and buy a couple cases of beer.....
Don Risher October 28, 2012 at 06:29 PM
We are getting a tremendous amount of calls for emergency standby home generators. I wish we could install them next day but we have to upgrade gas meters and go through the permitting and inspection process. This can take a week or two to accomplish. Don Risher VP Belair Engineering info@belaireng.com
Harry Callahan October 28, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Same thing happens with every storm. People think these things are just bring 'em out and plug and play. It took me 6 weeks from the time they dropped my generator on the ground at my house until the generator installer, BG&E, Baltimore County inspectiors et al. finished doing their dances to get the thing up and running.
Paul Amirault October 28, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Little known secret. Change the battery every 3 years no matter what. Last storm my battery exploded on start-up. Generator doesn't work well without the battery. This is with 4 maintenance visits per year, weekly test starts, and trickle charge.
Sam Battle October 28, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Stinkbug October 28, 2012 at 08:23 PM
they make gas powered ones...though I am sure they are all gone by now
Amanda Hall October 29, 2012 at 02:46 AM
to Sam Battle! there is a reason to continue to post this over again!! You get over yourself and quite posting stupid things like you do! Some of us have family in this area and they need to know how to handle these situations!! apparently you have NEVER EXPERIENCED A MAJOR STORM BEFORE!! THIS IS A VERY BAD STORM!! YOU NEED TO UPDATE YOURSELF!!
Don Risher October 29, 2012 at 09:47 AM
Paul you are correct! We suggest our clients replace their generator batteries every two years. If you get in a pinch you can jump start them much like an automobile. Stay safe.
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