Tens of millions of people are bracing for the widespread storm Sandy to devastate the American East Coast.
Sandy is right over the southern New Jersey area as of 2:30pm, and is expected to lead to a 4-8 foot coastal storm surge there, with a scary outlook for the next 24 hours.
The 90 mph hurricane is slated to hit the Atlantic City and south New Jersey shore area — ground zero for the hurricane — between 5-7pm Monday evening.
No matter where the storm makes landfall, the entire southern New Jersey region will feel the affects once Sandy hits the shore.
The fast moving Sandy is expected to knock down trees and power lines along the Jersey coast with the U.S. coast from North Carolina up to Massachusetts predicted to experience “extreme” coastal conditions related to the storm.
Sandy makes landfall around 5-6pm in the Atlantic City, New Jersey area, where there are already extreme conditions, including flooded streets and damage to the Boardwalk.
Over the next three to five hours, reported NBC 40’s Dan Skeldon just before 2:30pm, there will be more frequent gusts of up to 60-80 mph winds as the storm makes landfall. There are already more than 5,000 without power in Atlantic County, and more power outages are expected this afternoon.
By Tuesday, the forecast calls for gusty winds but not Hurricane strength. The clean-up crews and power crews are expected to need days to get to all the affected areas of the storm on the southern New Jersey coast alone.
The A.C. area is expected to get 6-10 inches of rain along with river flooding, causing area roadways to be closed.
Officials encourage those on barrier islands to wait out the storm at this point.
Flooding is expected to continue in the A.C. area through the evening into tomorrow. New York and Philadelphia may suffer serious impacts from Sandy as well.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to make another public storm briefing at 5:30pm.
As the winds ramp up, the power is still on in many shore communities, but the force of the wind is expected to get greater as the hurricane comes closer and this is just the beginning according to meteorologists.