Oct. 29, 2012 -- NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Sandy strengthened on its path toward New Jersey, where it is predicted to make landfall today while bringing a life-threatening storm surge as it whips a region of 60 million people with high winds and rain.
The storm shut the federal government and state administrations from Virginia to Massachusetts. It halted travel, prevented U.S. stock markets from opening and upended the presidential campaign. It may cause more than $6 billion in damage and knock out power to 10 million for a week or more.
Sandy packed maximum sustained winds of 85 miles (140 kilometers) per hour, up from 75 mph earlier, the center said at 8 a.m. New York time. The storm’s eye was about 310 miles south- southeast of New York, moving at 20 mph. It is not expected to weaken before landfall at Cape May, the center said. It may bring a surge as high as 10 feet (3 meters) in Manhattan.
The hurricane, blamed for 65 deaths in the Caribbean before it began barreling toward the U.S. East Coast, is expected to converge with two other systems, creating a phenomenon the National Weather Service has dubbed Frankenstorm.