Forecasters warn East Coast about 'Frankenstorm'

All the spare parts appear to be coming together to create what forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," a monster combination of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow that could cause havoc along the East Coast just before Halloween next week.
Associated Press
Oct 27, 2012


Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba on Thursday, continues to barrel north. A wintry storm is chugging across from the West. And frigid air is streaming south from Canada.

And if they meet Tuesday morning around New York or New Jersey, as forecasters predict, they could create a big wet mess that settles over the nation's most heavily populated corridor and reaches as far inland as Ohio.

With experts expecting at least $1 billion in damage, the people who will have to clean it up aren't waiting.

Utilities are lining up out-of-state work crews and canceling employees' days off to deal with the power outages. From county disaster chiefs to the federal government, emergency officials are warning the public to be prepared. And President Barack Obama was briefed aboard Air Force One.

"It's looking like a very serious storm that could be historic," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground. "Mother Nature is not saying 'trick-or-treat.' It's just going to give tricks."

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecaster Jim Cisco, who coined the nickname Frankenstorm, said: "We don't have many modern precedents for what the models are suggesting."

Government forecasters said there is a 90 percent chance — up from 60 percent two days earlier — that the East will get pounded starting Sunday and stretching past Halloween on Wednesday. Things are expected to get messier once Sandy, a very late hurricane in what has been a remarkably quiet season, comes ashore, probably in New Jersey.

Coastal areas from Florida to Maine will feel some effects, but the storm is expected to vent the worst of its fury on New Jersey and the New York City area, which could see around 5 inches of rain and gale-force winds close to 40 mph. Eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, western Virginia and the Shenandoah Mountains could get snow.

And the storm will take its time leaving. The weather may not start clearing in the mid-Atlantic until the day after Halloween and Nov. 2 in the upper Northeast, Cisco said.

"It's almost a weeklong, five-day, six-day event," he said from a NOAA forecast center in College Park, Md. "It's going to be a widespread, serious storm."

It is likely to hit during a full moon, when tides are near their highest, increasing the risk of coastal flooding. And because many trees still have their leaves, they are more likely to topple in the event of wind and snow, meaning there could be widespread power outages lasting to Election Day.

Eastern states that saw blackouts that lasted for days after last year's freak Halloween snowstorm and Hurricane Irene in late August 2011 are already pressuring power companies to be more ready this time.

Asked if he expected utilities to be more prepared, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick responded: "They'd better be."

Jersey Central Power & Light, which was criticized for its response to Irene, notified employees to be ready for extended shifts. In Pennsylvania, PPL Corp. spokesman Michael Wood said, "We're in a much better place this year."

Some have compared the tempest to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but that one didn't hit as populated an area. Nor is this one like last year's Halloween storm, which was merely an early snowfall.

"The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I'm thinking a billion," Masters said. "Yeah, it will be worse."

As it made its way across the Caribbean, Sandy was blamed for at least four deaths in Haiti and Jamaica. The 18th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season hit the Bahamas after cutting across Cuba, where it tore roofs off homes and damaged fragile coffee and tomato crops.

Norje Pupo, a 66-year-old retiree in Holguin, was helping his son clean up early Thursday after an enormous tree toppled in his garden.

"The hurricane really hit us hard," he said. "As you can see, we were very affected. The houses are not poorly made here, but some may have been damaged."




Probably another false alarm by the national weather service. They must be in cahoots with the grocery stores.

2cents's picture

I just a drove from RT480 west to Sandusky 10 min ago on the Turnpike and passed 108 electric utility trucks, boom trucks, bucket trucks and trucks hauling generators. They were all headed east to the coast I presume, license plates were from many states and many differante electric companies names on sided of trucks. Can you imagine how much damage they anticipate, 108 trucks in my 45 min drive!


Actually, I can't believe you counted them...

2cents's picture

LOL, yes on the way back. I was headed that way at about 2:30 and noticed I was passing a lot of these trucks. So, on the way back I just thought I would see how many were on the move. It suprised the heck out of me.

Darwin's choice

And the price of a gallon of gasoline has spiked yet again overnight, .35 !


2cents.....that is a lie....noone believes you. you made that up. u prolly saw 3 or 4 stupid......

2cents's picture

Sorry you think that egg. Not a lie, I do not lie!

(Ohio’s First Energy is already coordinating with four regional Mutual Assistance Groups. Negotiations will continue as Sandy gets closer and as conditions change. So right now, conversations are taking place, negotiations are ongoing, crews are getting ready, contractors are being notified and hired, utility personnel and travel plans are being filed, and trucks are getting ready to roll. In practice, this has often meant huge deployments.)

real talk

agreed eggsandpeaches


You should never call someone a liar unless you have all the facts. It makes you look foolish. FYI, a friend drove home from Cleveland on Saturday and said she saw three "convoy's" of bucket trucks heading east. She said each group had approximatley 50 trucks, so you might be calling someone a liar who is actually telling the truth.

2cents's picture

LOL, Thanks G. I did find a liar in all this : )

The Bizness

This could be very, very bad especially if the eye hits just south of NYC. The storm surge would push up the Hudson river and push water down Wall St. and flood subways and tunnels. This is definitely a storm the East Coast should take lightly.


No there probably was that many.It said this is going to a historic storm.The news said there was thousands being sent to the East coast.


Actually 2 cents may have added a few to the number but my husband and I drove to Bass Pro Shop today and we saw at least 40 plus trucks. I did not count exactly but this would be a very close estimate. We saw more on the way back as well.

2cents's picture

The count was real, I may have "missed" a few because I saw buckets going by but the trucks were hidden over by Berlin Heights where the divider wall is high.


Wow, NYC being unprepared??? They cut back on soft drinks they are so prepared for stuff like this.


I just heard a news report on satellite news showing a line of trucks heading toward new york city to assist IF they need help because of this upcoming storm. They estimate having approximately 200 extra + trucks and 300+ workers from the Ohio/Pennsylvania area in route to the New York area just in case they are needed for assistance. They have also sent extra medical and paramedics and ambulance assistance to the area as well.

This must be some storm if they are sending this much stuff to one local. Wow.


Here's my forcast about Ohio's winter........average. Not mild - not severe. (proven ancient sign) You agree Carol?


NOAA had better err on the side of caution.

Italy recently imprisoned scientists for not giving ample warning for an earthquake.


Next wave of trucks will be the tree trimmers.


Obama is not going to do "a Bush on Katrina", most especially just a week and a few cents before election day.

2cents's picture

Update, went down Ohio Turnpike from Sandusky to RT 71 at 11am today. Saw only 4 utility trucks on way, they must have all passed by, one was broken down and eight Davy Tree trucks on Turnpike parked on burm at RT 71.

bored reader

Was at Sam's Club today. They were packing a pick-up and trailer with generators headed for the storm area.


Live from NY; it's Hurricane Sandy!:


Has anyone heard ANYTHING about the artic air blast at all? The only thing I am hearing is about the hurricane, nothing about the artic air blast. Without that blast, this is nothing more than a normal late hurricane, isn't it? Not a "frankenstorm" at all, but a late, severe hurricane?


For a 1st rate Monday Morning Quarterback you sure aren't following the event very closely or understanding the weeks forecast. Stick to regurgitating the news why don't ya


@ wiredmama222:

All I know is that the stock exchange is down; I can't buy or sell a bleepin' thing.

IMO, the exchanges should move to Chicago, they ain't like the wimps in NYC.


yep, they have evacuated them for the day. Both the exchange and NASDQ are down for the trading. And most traders feel like you do....move them to chicago

2cents's picture

Contango, are you ok today? Chicago, home of!!!!!


@ 2cents:

Never better; thanks for asking.

I just figure that in the 21st Century that trades could be electronically re-routed. IMO, systems should be set up.

Little wonder that NYC is losing IPO and other business to foreign exchanges.

In the first half of 2012, China was the top destination for foreign investment surpassing the U.S. for the first time since 2003. Not a good precedent.

Chicago's motto: The city that works.


Poor Al Franken! Now they name a storm after him.


And do you remember during the Republican Primary Debates, Romney said he believes that we should get rid of FEMA, because it is immoral to spend that money on disasters, knowing that it will add to the national debt. He went on to say that the responsibilities for disasters should be delegated to the states, or even better, that it should be privatized!