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"Storm on Steroids": Eastern US on Lockdown As Hurricane Sandy Hurtles Towards Land

"My first message is to all people across the eastern seaboard, mid-Atlantic going north. You need to take this very seriously," President Obama said.

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"The system is so large that I would say millions of people are at least in areas that have some chance of experiencing either flash flooding or river flooding," National Hurricane Center director Rick Knabb warned.

Forecasters cautioned that the massive storm was far larger and more dangerous than last year's devastating Hurricane Irene that claimed 47 lives and caused an estimated $15 billion in damage.

Current projections show Sandy barreling north on a collision course with two other weather systems that would send it hooking into the Delaware or New Jersey coast as one of the worst storms on record.

Weather experts say the collision could create a super-charged storm bringing floods, high winds and even heavy snow across a swath of eastern states and as far inland as Ohio.

Governors have declared states of emergency in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia and the US capital Washington.

Obama signed emergency declarations to free up federal disaster funds for New York state, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington, New Jersey and Connecticut. -  Mariano Andrade, Agence France-Presse

 
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