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America prepares for superstorm

Hurricane Sandy could mix with a winter storm to create what has been dubbed ‘Frankenstorm’.

A map indicates Hurricane Sandy's position moving through the Bahamas off the east coast of Florida on Friday.
A map indicates Hurricane Sandy's position moving through the Bahamas off the east coast of Florida on Friday.
Image: Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images

AFTER KILLING 44 people in the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy is moving towards the east coast of America and forecasters have predicted an even greater storm than Irene kicked up last year because of a coinciding blast of winter weather.

If the hurricane meets the seasonal ‘nor’easter’ weather system, it would super-charge it, dragging it west onto land to hit Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio.

The states are now preparing for tidal surges, power outages, flooding and even some snowfall. However, officials say it is too early to tell exactly when the hurricane will hit land.

“We know somebody is going to get hit. We just cannot say who that somebody is going to be,” said James Franklin, branch chief of the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), during a telephone press conference Friday.

The nickname Frankenstorm has come from meteorologists because of its occurrence at Hallowe’en, as well as its composition from difference sources.

Sandy is “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.”

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Authorities in the states of Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the US capital Washington and a coastal county in North Carolina declared a state of emergency, directing officials to speed up storm preparations.

-Additional reporting by AP/AFP

Hurricane Sandy death toll rises to 38 in Caribbean

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