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US braces for Frankenstorm

The US East Coast is braced for the arrival of the potentially devastating Hurricane Sandy tonight (Monday), which is expected to make landfall later in the day. Dubbed  ‘Frankenstorm’, the massive hybrid weather system has an arctic jet stream wrapped around a tropical storm, and has led to tens of thousands of people being evacuated and President Barack Obama warning residents to take the storm seriously.

New York authorities ordered the evacuation of 375,000 people from low-lying coastal areas with forecasters warning of “life-threatening” storm surges of six to eleven feet in waters around New York City and northern New Jersey. Transport networks in New York including the subway have been shut down, airlines have cancelled more than 7,000 slights, public schools will be closed and  the New York Stock Exchange will be closed.  It could be the largest storm to hit the US in history and pictures from the International Space Station showed Sandy swirling and advancing on the East Coast of the USA.

Forecasters have 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 (£9 billion) in damage. Sandy has already killed 66 people in the Caribbean