NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 26, 2012

Forecasters fear another 'perfect storm'

NEWBURYPORT – Mother Nature must know Halloween is coming, because next week’s weather forecast looks awfully scary.

Hurricane Sandy is tracking north through the Bahamas and is expected to affect the Northeast early next week. Should the storm directly impact New England, it could be more damaging and destructive than Tropical Storm Irene was last year, experts say.

“It could be very powerful and has the potential for loss of life,” Charlie Foley, a spokesman from the National Weather Service, said. “We haven’t seen a storm like this in decades.”

What has meteorologists especially worried is the possibility that a Nor’easter moving in from the west could combine with Sandy, which would greatly intensify what is already a powerful storm.

At this point, it’s too early to predict the exact track of the storm. The latest computer models suggest the storm will make landfall somewhere in New Jersey just south of New York City late this weekend, but Foley said there’s a chance the storm could veer off and make landfall as far north as Maine.

“The consensus is that it’s going to either make landfall or brush very close in the coastal waters,” Foley said. “But this is such a large storm that whether or not it actually makes landfall, it will still have an impact that could be very powerful.”

Yesterday, Sandy was a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour. The storm is expected to weaken as it moves north through the Atlantic, but could still bring hurricane-force winds and heavy flooding to the area, especially if it does merge with the westward-moving Nor’easter.

Foley said the storm could also bring high seas, 25-foot tall waves and widespread power outages. Some experts say the storm has the potential to be a billion-dollar disaster.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Special Features