Officials from North Carolina to Maine have been raising alarms, and taking preventive steps like the subway shut-downs, for days.
By Sunday evening, officials already had canceled classes Monday for well over 2 million public school students in districts such as New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore, while numerous universities as well as federal government offices in Washington and government offices in states like New Jersey were preemptively closed. Sandy has even managed to put the presidential election on the back burner, turning campaign plans upside down.
Then there are the travel nightmares that the storm has already, and will continue, to cause with thousands of flights called off, Amtrak train runs scuttled, and hundreds of roads and highways expected to flood.
A full moon, which always brings out higher than normal tides, should exacerbate storm surge problems on Monday in coastal areas. In addition to one 12 hours earlier, high tide is scheduled for around 8:30 p.m. -- meaning parts of Delaware and New Jersey, for instance, could see significant flooding then even if Sandy has come ashore by then. Irrespective of the tides, the National Weather Service is forecasting potentially harmful storm surges of between 6 to 11 feet in New York Harbor and Long Island Sound.
"This is not a typical storm. It could very well be historic in nature and in scope and in magnitude because of the widespread anticipated power outages, flooding and potential major wind damage," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said, speaking of his state but just as well about many others in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
"Essentially, this is a hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter."