Hospitals shuttled staff to work, erected makeshift employee sleeping quarters and stockpiled supplies as Hurricane Sandy forced major cities along the East Coast to shut down roads and public transportation, and the storm's size and might prompted the president to urge caution and patience.
“Obviously, everybody is aware at this point that this is going to be a big and powerful storm,” President Barack Obama said in an address on Monday afternoon in which he urged the public to follow evacuation orders and warned of a lengthy recovery.
Hurricane Sandy's top sustained winds grew stronger as the storm churned North on Monday and it appeared poised to veer west-northwest toward land, the National Weather Service said shortly before noon. The storm's center was expected to “make landfall along or just south of the southern New Jersey coast” on Monday evening, the service said.
Federal officials are readying large generators for potential use by hospitals and water treatment plants, among other critical facilities, ahead of a possible landfall for Sandy some time overnight, said Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, at a teleconference.