SANDY: Storm gains strength; Cuomo calls up additional 1,000 Guard troops; 3,600 without power in NYC area
NEW YORK -- Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy has picked up a little strength and is making a turn toward a projected landfall on or near the southern coast of New Jersey.
The National Hurricane Center said this morning the storm’s top sustained winds had risen to near 90 mph (150 kph), with higher gusts.
The storm’s center is about 260 miles south-southeast of New York City and expected to make landfall this evening or night along or just south of the southern New Jersey coast.
Sandy is on track to collide with a wintry storm moving in from the west and cold air streaming down from the Arctic. The combination superstorm could menace some 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation, from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.
ALBANY -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling up an additional 1,000 National Guard troops, doubling the superstorm force he called up Sunday.
Cuomo says the troops will be used to prepare for a possible historic storm surge and to content with widespread damage and power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Cuomo called up 1,000 National Guard troopers Sunday.
He says the “cruel irony” is that the state is better prepared now because of last year’s tropical storms.
The Army Corps of Engineers says the state is very well prepared.
Cuomo also says 4,000 more utility workers are in New York.
NEW YORK -- Con Edison is reporting 3,600 customers without power.
Most of the outages are in Brooklyn.
As of 10 a.m., the utility said 3,600 people were without electricity. Crews are working to restore power as long as wind conditions allow.
The utility says it may have to shut down underground electrical equipment if the storm surge floods low-lying areas. The move could help avoid extensive damage to company and customer equipment. It could also allow crews to restore power more quickly.
If there is major flooding, Con Edison would have to wait for the waters to recede before workers could begin to assess damage.
The highest priority to restoration will be given to facilities such as hospital, police and fire stations, mass transit and sewage and water-pumping stations.