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Hurricane Sandy: 'It could be bad -- or it could be devastation'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 29th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The terrible threat embodied by Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the United States' East Coast today. Many are predicting disaster of epic proportions as millions, especially those in New York, hunker down for what could soon become the Storm of the Century.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes," Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said.

A storm surge expected at midnight could raise water levels to 11 feet above normal high tide, bringing "the potential to cause unprecedented damage."

Storm-related power outages numbered 300,000 customers in seven states. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have abandoned their homes. New York City landmarks are eerily empty and Washington D.C. has been emptied of government workers.

Sandy is expected to crash into a cold front and spawn a "super-storm." Flash floods, snowstorms and massive power outages could roil all the way from North Carolina to Maine.

The National Grid, which provides power to millions of customers, said 60 million people could be affected. "It could be bad," U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Rattior says, "or it could be devastation."

The National Weather Service said that wave heights in Lake Michigan could reach 28 feet Monday night and 31 feet by Tuesday.

Eight short days before Election Day, with both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama running neck and neck, both candidates have altered or canceled planned campaign events due to the storm.

Obama returned to Washington from Florida and went directly to a White House Situation Room briefing on the storm. The president then told reporters that he was confident that assets had been positioned for an effective response to the aftermath of the storm.

"The most important message I have for the public right now is please listen to what your state and local officials are saying," Obama urged those in the path of the storm. He told the public to heed warnings and other instructions. "When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate."

Obama said he was not worried about how the storm might affect the election. "I'm worried about the impact on families; I'm worried about the impact on first responders; I'm worried about the economy and transportation," he told reporters. "The election will take care of itself next week."

Romney asked his supporters in Avon Lake, Ohio to drop off items and cash at his "victory centers" to be donated to victims of the storm.

"There are families in harm's way that will be hurt -- either in their possessions or perhaps in something more severe," Romney said.

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