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By Kathy Orr

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sandy is located 355 miles east of South Carolina and remains a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75 mph. This is a very large storm with tropical storm force winds extending 520 miles from the storm’s center.

Right now we have Watches for our area:

  • Flood Watch: Sunday PM-Tuesday AM
  • High Wind Watch: Monday AM-Tuesday PM

The latest forecast guidance show a northward shift in the track putting a landfall somewhere between the NJ and Long Island coast. This is a little farther north than the official National Hurricane Center’s track. Still, anywhere from Delaware to Long island will see a landfall late Monday night. A more southern landfall would bring the worst coastal flooding to southern New Jersey and up the Delaware Bay.

Sandy is forecast to lose its tropical characteristics Monday afternoon and become an intense Nor’easter when it moves ashore. Never-the-less, the entire region will be impacted with the following:

  • Rain will move from south to north by Sunday night as bands of showers rotate through the region.

Monday the rain will be pounding. The worst of the storm (rain and wind) will be felt Monday into early Tuesday.

  • Extreme heavy rainfall of 6-10″ through Tuesday.
  • Flash flooding is extremely likely especially in flood prone areas.
  • Strong, damaging winds will batter the region for a period of 24-48 hours. Inland Gusts: 55-65mph, SNJ: 75mph
  • Major storm surge combined with high tide at full moon (October 29) can be 10-feet at the coast.
  • Major river flooding is likely.
  • Power outages are likely to be in the thousands.
  • All modes of transportation may be impacted due to road closures, delays & shut downs.
  • There is a higher tornado risk if we are in the northern sector of the storm.
  • Potentially historic damage which will include downed trees, power lines, flooded properties, etc.
  • The storm will be slow-moving which will exacerbate problems.

Low-lying areas near the mouth of the Delaware should plan for flooded homes and roadways, and the barrier islands of New Jersey will also be hit hard with the combination of heavy rainfall and powerful storm surge. Even areas that are not usually prone to flooding may be flooded.

Heed the evacuation warnings down the shore. Our emergency managers have planned for this for years and will keep us safe. Inland, do not panic, just be prepared.

The CBS3 WEATHER TEAM will send additional updates.

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