Gov. Deval Patrick has already declared a state of emergency, emergency crews are at the ready, and residents across Cape Ann and far beyond are preparing for the approach of Hurricane Sandy, which can be expected to being showing its calling card as winds pick up later today and into tonight.
Sandy was listed at carrying Category 1 storm this afternoon, packing winds of up to 80 miles per hour and moving northeast at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami; it was about 395 miles south of New York City.
NOAA’s National Weather Service was projecting the storm to make landfall expected along the New Jersey coast late-day Monday, and then to continue northward well west of here, up into New York and even parts of Pennsylvania. The greatest storm effects being felt here on Cape Ann are expected to be felt Monday and Monday night into Tuesday morning, thanks to Sandy’s immense size — so massive it has led some wags to term it a “frankenstorm.” Sunday, Sandy’s hurricane force winds still extended roughly 100 miles from its center, while its lesser tropical storm-force winds reach across more than 700 miles. It is those winds that will be felt on Cape Ann tonight, even as the storm sits off the Carolina and southern New Jersey coast.
In our area, meteorologists are now forecasting sustained winds of 20-30 mph overnight tonight and into Monday, but with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour by later Monday and into Monday night.
Those winds are expected to bring seas of up to 30 feet, with significant storm surges that can produce coastal flooding Monday and Tuesday. The storm, being boosted by other weather systems from the west and northeast. The approach of Sandy carries an especially eerie reminder here on Cape Ann, given that Tuesday marks the 21st anniversary of the so-called “Perfect Storm” of 1991, which caused extensive damage along the coast and claimed the fishing boat Andrea Gail, which went down with six men aboard.