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Firefighters battle blaze involving over a dozen houses in flooded NYC neighborhood
Officials are estimating at least 50 homes have been destroyed as a fire ravages a flooded neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens.
The New York Fire Department tells Fox News the six-alarm fire had destroyed 50 plus homes in the Breezy Point section, and a fire department spokesman says nearly 200 firefighters are currently fighting the blaze.
The department says flooding is making the fire harder to fight at this point, and they are unsure if there has been any fatalities or if people are trapped.
Firefighters told WABC-TV that the water was chest high on the street, and they had to use a boat to make rescues. They said in one apartment home, about 25 people were trapped in an upstairs unit, and the 2-story home next door was ablaze and setting fire to the apartment's roof.
Firefighters climbed an awning to access the trapped people, and took them downstairs to the boat in the street.
Video footage of the scene shows a hellish swath of tightly packed homes fully engulfed in orange flames as firefighters hauled hoses while sloshing in ankle-high water. Many homes appeared completely flattened by the wind-whipped flames.
A spokesman tells The Associated Press at least two people have suffered minor injuries.
Fire officials say the blaze was reported around 11 p.m. Monday in an area flooded by Monster Storm Sandy, which pounded the coastal area Monday. The neighborhood sits on the Rockaway peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.
In September, the same neighborhood was struck by a tornado that hurled debris in the air, knocked out power and startled residents who once thought of twisters as a Midwestern phenomenon.
The record storm surge that hit New York from Sandy was higher than predicted. High winds damaged the electrical system and plunged millions of people into darkness.
Utilities say it could be up to a week before power is fully restored to the region. The governor's office said there were five storm-related deaths late Monday.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2012/10/3...z2AmcEffpK
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 29
Location: 38.8°N 74.4°W
Moving: WNW at 28 mph
Min pressure: 940 mb
Max sustained: 90 mph
UPDATE: 4:55 PM EST 10-29-12
LANDFALL EXPECTED SOON
UPDATE: 2:04PM 10-29-12
BREAKING NEWS HURRICANE UPGRADED
WINDS NOW AT 90 MPH !! 2 PM ADVISORY
PRESSURE @ 940 MB
THIS SUCKER IS GROWING STRONGER DAMN !!!
Virginia declares state of emergency for hurricane
WASHINGTON, DC -- Maryland is under a state of emergency and coastal communities in Delaware are preparing for the impacts of Hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Mike Spano declares state of emergency
Atlantic County Declares State of Emergency - Effective 6 AM, October 27
Gov. Perdue declares State Of Emergency in light of Hurricane Sandy
Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency in New York
Mandatory Evacuation Order Issued For Fire Island
N.Y. emergency declared over Hurricane Sandy
Islip, New York, on Long Island declares state of emergency, under mandatory evacuation as Sandy nears - @PatchTweet
BREAKING NEWS: NJ Gov. Chris Christie to Declare State of Emergency Ahead of Sandy: Source
UPDATE: 3:08 PM 10-25-12
Sandy has the potential to bring major impacts to the U.S. East Coast through the weekend and into early next week.
Confidence is growing that Sandy will be a major threat to portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Though we feel that it's likely Sandy will hit some portion of the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic coast, there remains uncertainty with where this occurs and the exact magnitude of the impacts
The forecast involves a rare, complex atmospheric setup that will allow the system to pivot back to the northwest into the region rather than simply moving out to sea.
Where exactly this pivot back to the west or northwest occurs will dictate where the worst of the potential impacts ultimately hit. That said, Sandy will have a large wind field and therefore impacts will stretch across a wide area well away from where Sandy eventually moves inland.
What kind of impacts are we talking about?
Damaging winds, heavy rain, major coastal flooding and beach erosion would pummel portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions between later Sunday and Tuesday of next week. Of course, the high winds would extend inland, with the potential for downed trees and powerlines. Power outages could last for days.
This setup could even wrap in just enough cold air on its western edge to produce wet snow, possibly heavy, in some parts of the central Appalachians (mountains of West Virginia and Pennsylvania).
Residents from New England to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia should remain vigilant and be prepared to take action in the next few days.
We'll continue to refine our forecast here at weather.com and The Weather Channel. Check back with us often as this major storm unfolds.
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Sandy to Take Aim at New England, Mid-Atlantic
Sandy, currently a Category 2 hurricane near the Bahamas, is forecast to take a turn toward the Atlantic Coast and make landfall early next week between Virginia and Nova Scotia.
Despite the tranquil, warm weather of this week, the weather is ready to roar over the northern Atlantic Seaboard from later Sunday into Tuesday.
While the dangerous storm is still days away, the probability of the feared left hook has increased and will take place during a big atmospheric fight from the mid-Atlantic to New England and neighboring Canada. The result could be a knockout blow to some areas and not only along the immediate coast.
Tens of millions of people and thousands of communities could be impacted by the storm.
Exactly where this change of direction takes place is critical for the worst impacts, which have the potential to be very disruptive, if not very damaging and in some cases life-threatening.
Odds are a few major metropolitan areas within the swath from Norfolk, Va., to New York City to Bangor, Maine, will be hit the hardest.
Some areas will be hit with damaging winds, power outages, flooding rainfall, battering surf and storm surge. Windswept rain will slow travel in general. Some roads may be blocked by high water and downed trees. Air travel disruptions could radiate outward from the epicenter.
Anywhere near the storm center to 100 miles or more to the northeast of the center during landfall, there is an elevated risk of coastal flooding due to storm surge.
The storm will be making landfall around the same date as the full moon, a time when higher tides occur relative to the balance of the month. There is the potential for a storm surge of five feet or more in some areas, depending on point of landfall and shape of the local coastline.
Trees and power lines will come down. The strongest winds would also occur near and northeast of the storm center to within a few hours during landfall. Gusts to hurricane force (74 mph) are possible. However, gusts (40 to 60 mph) can occur for a time around much of the storm's circulation out to at least 100 miles and perhaps more.
Drenching rain and the greatest risk of flash and urban flooding would occur to the west, northwest and north of the center moving inland from the Atlantic. Some areas could receive a half a foot of rain. The Appalachians would enhance the risk of flash and small stream flooding. Fallen leaves causing blocked storm drains will increase the risk of urban flooding.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists feel that as long as heavy rain does not linger for more than a day or two most major rivers will handle the runoff without major flooding. Rivers are generally at a very low state during this point in the season. However, some rises on these rivers are to be expected. The rain could be more of a beneficial aspect in some areas, say in abnormally dry portions of northern and western New York state.
South and southwest of where the storm makes landfall, away from the center of the storm, the effects would be much less dramatic. A sweep of dry air typically occurs in this zone. However, it can get very windy for a time, as cold air rushes in from the west, even as the storm itself diminishes.
Well west of the center of the storm snow could fall, even past the peak of the mayhem farther east. This is possible over portions of the Great Lakes and perhaps into the high ground of the central Appalachians.
Caution Against Dismissing This Storm
While there is the potential for Sandy to be declassified as a non-tropical storm upon entering the cooler waters of the North Atlantic, prior to landfall, it is hardly likely to be a weakening storm.
According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, head of AccuWeather.com's Hurricane Center, "We are concerned that some people may dismiss the storm because of a downgrade or an initial path well out to sea. The sudden left turn and strength of the system may catch some people off guard."
According to AccuWeather.com Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams, "The details of exactly where landfall occurs will not be apparent perhaps until the left turn actually begins this weekend. However, the zone likely to experience the most damaging and disruptive effects will be narrowed down as more information become available."
The opportunity to protect property will end quickly in this situation. If you want to take precautionary measures, waiting until Sunday evening to do so may be too late. Don't put yourself in harm's way during the storm later Sunday into Tuesday.
'Frankenstorm' Predicted to Slam East Coast
A hurricane and winter storm hybrid will likely pound the region early next week
WASHINGTON (AP) - An unusual nasty mix of a hurricane and a winter storm that forecasters are now calling "Frankenstorm" is likely to blast most of the East Coast next week, focusing the worst of its weather mayhem around New York City and New Jersey.
Government forecasters on Thursday upped the odds of a major weather mess, now saying there's a 90 percent chance that the East will get steady gale-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and maybe snow starting Sunday and stretching past Halloween on Wednesday.
RELATED ON SKYE: Hurricane Sandy Makes Landfall in Bahamas
Meteorologists say it is likely to cause $1 billion in damages.
The storm is a combination of Hurricane Sandy, now in the Caribbean, an early winter storm in the West, and a blast of arctic air from the North. They're predicted to collide and park over the country's most populous coastal corridor and reach as far inland as Ohio.
The hurricane part of the storm is likely to come ashore somewhere in New Jersey on Tuesday morning, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco. But this is a storm that will affect a far wider area, so people all along the East have to be wary, Cisco said.
Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, mostly from the hurricane part, he said, and the other parts of the storm will reach inland from North Carolina northward.
Once the hurricane part of the storm hits, "it will get broader. It won't be as intense, but its effects will be spread over a very large area," the National Hurricane Center's chief hurricane specialist, James Franklin, said Thursday.
One of the more messy aspects of the expected storm is that it just won't leave. The worst of it should peak early Tuesday, but it will stretch into midweek, forecasters say. Weather may start clearing in the mid-Atlantic the day after Halloween and Nov. 2 in the Northeast, Cisco said.
"It's almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event," Cisco said Thursday from NOAA's northern storm forecast center in College Park, Md. "It's going to be a widespread serious storm."
With every hour, meteorologists are getting more confident that this storm is going to be bad and they're able to focus their forecasts more.
The New York area could see around 5 inches of rain during the storm, while there could be snow southwest of where it comes inland, Cisco said. That could mean snow in eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, western Virginia, and the Shenandoah Mountains, he said.
Both private and federal meteorologists are calling this a storm that will likely go down in the history books.
"We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting," Cisco said.
It is likely to hit during a full moon when tides are near their highest, increasing coastal flooding potential, NOAA forecasts warn. And with some trees still leafy and the potential for snow, power outages could last to Election Day, some meteorologists fear.
Some have compared it to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but Cisco said that one didn't hit as populated an area and is not comparable to what the East Coast may be facing. Nor is it like last year's Halloween storm, which was merely an early snowstorm in the Northeast.
"The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I'm thinking a billion," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private service Weather Underground. "Yeah, it will be worse."
But this is several days in advance, when weather forecasts are usually far less accurate. The National Hurricane Center only predicts five days in advance, and each long-range forecast moves Sandy's track closer to the coast early next week. The latest has the storm just off central New Jersey's shore at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
As forecasts became more focused Thursday, the chance of the storm bypassing much of the coast and coming ashore in Maine faded, Cisco said.
The hurricane center's Franklin called it "a big mess for an awful lot of people in the early part of next week."