Meteorologists expect the pre-Halloween hurricane horror “Frankenstorm” to strike Queens early Monday with the strongest surge coming later that day.
Hurricane Sandy has already blown through Haiti and Cuba and is forecasted to make a significant impact on a large portion of the New York metro area, said National Weather Service meteorologist David Stark. Due to the storm’s potential impact, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency throughout New York.
Tropical storm-level winds may begin Sunday night with the stronger gusts coming Monday. Sustained winds at 40-50 mph with gusts 60-70 mph are expected with the potential for even stronger bursts. Power outages, structural damage and downed trees are common in those types of winds.
Waves may reach 2o-25 feet off the coast.
“What we’ve been saying to everyone in coastal communities is prepare for a significant amount of coastal flooding,” Stark said.
During the heaviest rainfall, one to two inches per hour may flood areas.
Officials have not yet issued mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas, though they are still possible.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has canceled all elective admissions at hospital in Zone A, which include the Queens neighborhoods of the Rockaways, Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel.
A decision on whether to close schools in the city will likely be made on Sunday, the mayor said.
Hurricanes rarely touch down in the area this late in hurricane season which lasts through November. Some have briefly touched the area in October, Stark said.
“It’s happening a little closer to land than what is typically common,” Stark said.
The “Frankenstorm” is interacting with a jet stream and cold front from the west pulling it back to the west rather than continuing out into open waters.