PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tides and Bore Tides: Against the Current

 

 

Tides and Bore Tides: Against the Current

 

 

In a few places on Earth, local geography and tidal conditions align to cause a phenomenon called a tidal bore: An incoming high tide collides with the outgoing tide in a narrow channel, generating a turbulent wave front. The shape and size of a bore tide varies greatly, from gentle undulations to a powerful single wave rolling over any obstacle in its path. China's Qiantang River claims the highest bore, up to 9 meters (30 ft) high. In other places, such as Alaska's Turnagain Arm, Brazil's Amazon River, and the River Severn in the UK, surfers paddle out and try to catch the bore tides for a quick trip upstream. [27 photos]

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A crowd of Chinese tourists run away as a tidal bore breaks over a wall along the Qiangtang River in Haining, Zhejiang province, China, on on August 31, 2011. Visitors gathered to experience the Qianjiang Tidal Bore, an annual tradition for the residents living nearby.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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A remote controlled helicopter hovers over the Qiantang River as tourists gather on the river bank to see the soaring tide in Haining, Zhejiang province, on September 13, 2011. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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A tidal wave hits a bank along the Qiantang River on August 22, 2013 in Haining, China.(ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images) #

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Spectators flee as waves created by a tidal bore crash over a barrier on the Qiantang river at Hangzhou, in east China's Zhejiang province, on August 31, 2011. (AP Photo) #

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A crowd of Chinese tourists run away as a tidal bore breaks over a wall along the Qiangtang River in Haining, China, on August 31, 2011. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Policemen and residents run as waves from a tidal bore surge past a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River in Haining, China, on August 31, 2011. As Typhoon Nanmadol approached eastern China, the tides and waves in Qiantang River recorded their highest level in 10 years, local media reported. (Reuters/China Daily) #

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A crowd of Chinese tourists run away as a tidal bore breaks through the dam by the Qiangtang River in Haining, east China's Zhejiang province on August 31, 2011. About 20 people were injured when they were caught too close to the river while viewing the annual tidal bore, which occurs when sea water from an unusually high tide funnels into the river, creating high waves.(STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

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South of Anchorage, Alaska, the biggest bore tide of the summer roared into Turnagain Arm on June 5, 2012. Here, a kayaker awaits the bore tide to ride it. (AP Photo/Ron Barta) #

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A kayaker rides the biggest bore tide of the summer as it roared into Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska, on June 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Ron Barta) #

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Brazilian surfer Savio Carneiro celebrates as catches the thunderous "Pororoca" tidal bore wave during the national pororoca circuit final on the Mearim River, some 30 km inland, in the Amazon jungle near the northern Brazilian city of Arari, on April 19, 2003. The term "Pororoca" comes from the Amazonian indigenous term meaning "destroyer, great blast." The feared and thunderous waves have capsized boats and washed away most anything in its path. (Reuters/Sergio Moraes) #

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Surfers Adilton Mariano and Rodrigo Resende ride the Pororoca wave in the Araguari river in northern Brazil, on May 18, 2003.(AP Photo/Enrico Marone) #

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Villagers ride the Pororoca wave in a canoe as it passes near their town of Sao Domingos do Capim, northern Brazil, on March 12, 2001. (AP Photo/Paulo Santos) #

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Brazilian surfer Rogerio Dantas jumps into the Mearim River to catch the thunderous Pororoca tidal bore wave, near the northern Brazilian city of Arari, on April 17, 2003. (Reuters/Sergio Moraes) #

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A surfer rides the Pororoca tidal bore on the Amazon river near Caviana island in Marajo, Brazil, on June 17, 2011.(Reuters/Paulo Santos) #

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A boat fails to escape a Pororoca wave on Brazil's Mearim River, on April 6, 2004. (Reuters/Bruno Domingos) #

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Brazilian surfers rides the Pororoca wave on the Mearim River, near Arari, Brazil, on April 8, 2004. (Reuters/Bruno Domingos) #

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A view of the Severn Bore, sweeping down the river Severn between Stonebench and Minsterworth, in Gloucestershire, England, on September 3, 1936. At times the waves reached a height of 20 feet. (AP Photo) #

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Surfers ride the Severn Bore near Newnham along the River Severn on March 2, 2010 in Gloucestershire, England. Surfers from around the world flocked to ride the Severn bore, a natural tidal phenomenon that pushes a 4ft wave up the Severn Estuary in Gloucestershire. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #

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Surfers enjoy the Severn Bore near Newnham along the River Severn on March 2, 2010 in Gloucestershire, England.(Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #

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Surfers round a corner on the Severn Bore along the River Severn on March 2, 2010 in Gloucestershire, England.(Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #

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The incoming spring tide on the River Severn in Gloucestershire, on March 2, 2010. Original here.(CC BY ND Flickr user PapaPiper) #

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A tidal wave hits a bank along the Qiantang River on August 22, 2013 in Haining, China. Typhoon Trami landed in Fujian province earlier and led to higher-than-normal tides, gales and heavy rainfalls in east China.(ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images) #

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Visitors run away as waves from a tidal bore surge past a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River, in Hangzhou Zhejiang province, on August 24, 2013. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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Visitors run away from a tidal bore wave as it surges over a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River, in Hangzhou Zhejiang province, on August 25, 2013. (Reuters/Stringer) #

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People struggle as waves from a tidal bore pour over a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River in Haining, China, on August 22, 2013. As Typhoon Trami landed in eastern China, tidal level in the Qiantang River was recorded at 6.6 meters high with a surge reaching 1.3 meter high, local media reported. (Reuters/China Daily) #

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People struggle as water from a tidal bore wave surged over a barrier on the banks of Qiantang River in Haining, China, on August 22, 2013. (Reuters/China Daily) #

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Spectators get to their feet, after being swept down a hill by huge waves while watching tides of Qiantang River on August 22, 2013 in Haining, China.


Stuart Gibson's photo of Sean Woolnough on a wave in Namotu Island, Fiji, was a finalist in the Spirit category. "Sean Woolnough and I were in Fiji for big swell and the wind went dead, so while we still had amazing conditions, we jumped in a Fijian long boat. This is more of a tow wave, as you can see --- paddling this wave doesn't end well. The island jetski was out of action so we thought we'd give it a go. I dropped Sean at the top of the reef, and the ocean went flat, like someone had turned off the tap. It takes a big set to light this slab up, and as Sean sat patiently I saw a big lump coming. I started yelling, but he had no reference as to where he was on the reef so he waited and paddled for this first wave of the set. He just missed it, and when I looked back, this deep blue lump just started draining out, almost sucking him under the wave. He took one big duckdive and got under the breaking lip. On a normal wave this is fine but this thing didn't have a back -- the reef drops to 200m out the back of this place so when it breaks it really folds. The wave had just too much power and sucked him back over the falls, it's pretty much a surfer's worst nightmare position, so many people claim this is photoshopped, but it certainly is not!" (© Stuart Gibson/Red Bull Illume)

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This image by Lorenz Holder is the Overall Winner of the 2013 contest. "I found this unique spot (in Raisting, Germany) in the summer and I really wanted to shoot a snowboard picture there. I told Xaver Hoffmann about the spot and he was also fascinated. My idea to shoot in heavy snowfall wasn't going to be easy, as it only snowed once in this spot last season. So there was pretty much just a one-time chance to get this shot. I used two big Elinchrom strobes in the background to light up the snowflakes and create a 'white wall' where I could capture Xaver's silhouette as he jumped. To get some light onto the dish, I chose a 4-second exposure time to get some light from the moon. Overall, I'm pretty happy that we made it there that day!"(© Lorenz Holder/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Dimitrios Kontizas: "I never thought that at some point in my life, I would stand right at the edge of a 200-meter cliff, taking pictures of 'crazy' people jumping off it. But there I was in Zakynthos Island, Greece, where the 2011 'ProBase Shipwreck Boogie' was taking place. Thirty BASE jumpers from all around the world had been invited to participate in this competition. This particular picture was taken right after the competition had ended, leaving all the BASE jumpers free of stress and letting them have 100% fun jumps. I had the focus point on one of the jumpers because they are the main subject in the frame. The Greek sun did what it does best, providing perfect lighting conditions for a result, I think, that is worth viewing." (© Dimitrios Kontizas/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Sterling Lorence: "Matt Hunter has a reputation in freeride mountain biking for finding and building very progressive lines. Matt built this air for the filming of his segment in the film, 'Follow Me'. It is a 45-foot air to wall ride move that he hadn't done much practice on. I framed up this shot from this perspective to be able to express the entire story of his line and the size of the gap he had to make. I originally thought I would shoot it as a sequence so that the viewer would be able to understand the extreme journey more. With my motor drive running, Matt nailed his line and I watched him hit the wall and carve out the finish. I was completely floored and in awe by the explosion of dust he had created. As I sat back and reviewed my images, I saw this one frame and I realized that I no longer needed the full sequence. The entire story, speed, impact and energy of this huge air was captured in this single frame. That is why I love photography, telling so much of a story in a single image."(© Sterling Lorence/Red Bull Illume) #

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Jeroen Nieuwhuis was named the winner of the Close Up category for this shot of Erik Journee skating in Denekamp, Netherlands. "I was looking at my portfolio and thought to myself that I should shoot some different images -- less 'studio-lit', if you will. After a short brainstorm session, my buddy Erik and I thought it would be a cool thing to try something different than usual. I wanted this shot to be less set up. We grabbed our boards and went to the street seen in the picture. It's just outside a forest, and a couple kilometers from where I live. The position of the sun was just right. I quickly grabbed my camera. Skating the street from front to back a couple of times, I kept trying to get the right shot. After almost smashing my camera on the concrete, I thought I would give it just one last try. This is the last image I shot in that series." (© Jeroen Nieuwhuis/Red Bull Illume) #

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Scott Serfas won the Illumination category with this photo of Travis Rice in Alaska's Tordrillo Mountains. "This photo was taken on the second trip during the making of the "Art of FLIGHT" snowboarding film. We had been in Alaska for a month and I knew the trip was ending very soon. I really wanted to shoot a photo from the helicopter, right above Travis Rice as he was riding a line, but it was very difficult to coordinate because there was another heli in the air shooting with a Cineflex camera. The sun was setting fast so the director Curt Morgan called for Travis to drop into the line and as he made his second turn down the mountain I snapped this shot. This turned out to be the last photo I took during what was the best snowboarding trip of my life!" (© /Red Bull Illume) #

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Left: Lorenz Holder's finalist image of Benny Urban in Oberschleissheim, Germany. "I had the idea to shoot a snowboard waterslide from underneath the surface a couple of years back, but I found out pretty fast that it wasn't as easy as I thought. After several tries, I knew that I would have to go down into the water myself. So I rented water-housing and diving equipment and went to a pretty perfect location in Munich, Germany for the shoot. The idea was to shoot upwards where the rider would be, in the so-called 'Snell's window'. Looking upwards underwater, this is the circular area of light on the surface caused by refraction of light entering the water. In my image you can see the rider and the sky through that window. In other parts of the surface this effect takes place and mirrors the underwater world. The communication with the rider was also a bit difficult, because we both were in two different worlds and we could not just raise our hands when both of us were ready. But in the end, everything turned out way better than I expected!" Right: Olaf Pignataro, finalist in the Playground category. "After waiting for the town to go to sleep and for the streets to empty, Stefan Lantschner climbed down a rope into the hole of the ancient bridge Ponte Pietra in Verona, Italy. Using the same rope, crew members lowered down his BMX, and Stefan began to ride the giant full pipe. Some tourists noticed the flashes coming from the bridge, but Stefan was lucky enough to climb up without getting caught by the police after a short session. Ponte Pietra is a Roman arch bridge crossing the Adige River and was completed in 100 BC." (© Lorenz Holder, Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull Illume) #

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Morgan Maassen, finalist in the Close Up category: "On this overcast day in late autumn, Rebecca Ronald and I went out to Chun's Reef in Hawaii for a surf as the waves were quite clean and uncrowded. Despite the overcast skies, the water was unusually clear so I figured I would shoot with a fisheye, hoping the sun would pop out at some point during our session. Unfortunately, the sun never did come out, but Bec had a marathon session and we lined up on too many waves to count. After riding a wave past where I was shooting, she paddled back towards me... only to swing around and catch another wave. And it was at this moment that I captured this over/under shot of her, showcasing her as she prepares to nab another wave on that delightful day at Chun's Reef."(© Morgan Maassen/Red Bull Illume) #

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Vince Perraud's image of Luc Legrand was a finalist in the Sequence category. "The great magazine 'The Albion' asked me to follow Frenchman Luc Legrand for an article, and we arranged to spend a week on the road all across Spain, living in his van. Luc loves to ride in unique locations even if they are not easy. He remembered a crazy set-up around the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and we found it again. I was not used to shooting sequences but I thought it would work for this one. I also thought shooting fisheye from below would really capture the movement. After a couple of run-ups, he just did it first go, and I was really happy to catch it first go too!" (© Vince Perraud/Red Bull Illume) #

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Jody MacDonald, finalist in the Illumination category: "In the fourth year of a five-year world kiteboarding expedition, we sailed 600 miles across the Mozambique Channel from Madagascar to the Bazaruto Archipelago, off the southeast coast of Mozambique. As we made landfall, a massive 20-mile sand dune grew off our bow. No words were said, everyone just ran for their wings. The east side of the dune juts out into the Indian Ocean at a perfect angle for paragliding a few hundred meters above the sea. In no time we were soaring and exploring a place by air that had never previously been flown. It is the stuff that even vivid dreamers cannot imagine and as a photographer it was perfection. The way the light danced and played along the sand was mesmerizing. It was perfect until we spotted our dinghy washed up on the beach. By the time we reached it, there was no obvious damage but we would still have to wait again for low tide to make any attempt to leave. We ended up sleeping on the dune that night in our paragliders and awoke again the next morning to more perfect flying conditions. Being quite possibly the most playful and stunning soaring site on the planet, we had to keep flying. Only after we were sunburnt, exhausted and dehydrated did we manage to get the dinghy through the shore break and back to our catamaran." (© Jody MacDonald/Red Bull Illume) #

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Jussi Grznar's shot of Jeff Croker in Sussex Inlet, Australia, was also named a finalist. "Jeff Croker is a true Australian bushman. Having lived in Australia all his life, he only saw the ocean for the first time at the age of 20. The next day he packed all of his stuff and moved to the beach. To this day, Jeff still lives by the beach with his lovely wife and two not-so-lovely sons (just kidding!). I met him during a personal trip to Australia in 2012, and I really wanted to photograph him. Jeff is known for not interacting with people very much, so I decided to put the camera away and just sit back for a bit. After one long night and a happy wedding we all went for a surf together, and I got the chance to get to know the man a little better. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of good waves, and maybe a beer or two!" (© Jussi Grznar/Red Bull Illume) #

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Zakary Noyle was named the winner of the Sequence category for this shot of Gabriel Medina in the surf off Oahu, Hawaii. "This was not a large day by North Shore standards but sort of a lay day. When the waves are smaller, the surfers usually go out for a surf right before the sun sets. I walked down the beach with my camera and a 70-200mm lens -- I did not take a tripod, as it is easier to hand hold. I really love capturing the different elements of my surroundings, to be able to put the viewer of the image into the exact location of where I was and what I saw. By pulling the lens back, I was able to get the sand and sky, so it is almost as if someone were walking down the beach and looking over to see Gabriel doing this massive backflip."(© Zakary Noyle/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Ismael Ibanez Ruiz: "I was in Barcelona for a week shooting the local BMX scene. Barcelona is definitely one of the most interesting BMX Meccas in the world, with many street spots where you can ride all day. After a hard day of searching for different spots, I shot this picture where an old man was angry with one of the local riders (Nil Soler), thinking that what he was doing was a bad thing for the city. He doesn't understand it's only BMX! After this mishap, which is usual in Barcelona lately, we continued our search for new images, new spots and new sensations." (© Ismael Ibanez Ruiz/Red Bull Illume) #

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Morgan Maassen won the Lifestyle category for his photo of surfers Jake Marshall, Taylor Clark, Frankie Harrer, Colt Ward, Thelen Whorrell, Nolan Rapoza, and Dryden Brown, in Tavarua, Fiji. "Late one fall I gathered a group of America's next generation of young surfers, and we departed for Fiji to try our hand at an impressive south swell. Arriving at Cloudbreak to perfect conditions and an empty beach, we had an absolute blast enjoying the dreamy scenario. They surfed for ten hours a day, coming in only for food or sunscreen. I captured them one morning in this shot, discussing in the crystalline water anything from the surf they were enjoying to homework they forgot at home. Reflecting on the trip after we had gone our separate ways, it was not the performance of the kids or the caliber of surf that made our adventure memorable; it was their social dynamic. I was fascinated by their camaraderie in the intense surf and realized that while the atmosphere was thick with competition, their friendship had them trading waves with nothing but smiles, laughing and hollering at each other's successes and misfortune with pure glee."(© Morgan Maassen/Red Bull Illume) #

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Ryan Taylor, finalist in the Illumination category: "Every year in northern Wisconsin, cranberries are grown and harvested in the late fall. Unknown to some people, cranberries are grown dry, and it is only during harvesting that the fields are flooded. This allows the berries to float to the surface for ease of harvesting, creating a large sea of red. This uncharted territory seemed almost impossible to ride, until the invention of the winch. This image of Ben Horan carving through a cranberry field was a photo that I had wanted to shoot for a long time. I was finally able to do it in October 2012, when the Red Bull Winch Sessions crew asked me to tag along once again and shoot stills as well as some video. On the morning that this photo was taken, we awoke to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. By the time we started shooting, the snow had melted but the temperatures were still close to freezing. Knowing how unique the image would be, Ben (as well as everyone else involved) was still willing to put the time and effort into riding. It was a long hard week of shooting, but this particular shoot will definitely go down as one of my most unique shoots to date."(© Ryan Taylor/Red Bull Illume) #

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Left: Finalist Scott Serfas: "I was in the middle seat of a helicopter with Travis Rice, Mark Landvik and John Jackson, circling around in the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska when the three of them started talking about a jump they wanted to build below us. I had no idea what they were looking at, but after about 10 minutes of discussing it in the air we landed and got the shovels out. I was in charge of shaping the in-run along with the other media team members on this particular "The Art of FLIGHT" trip. We shoveled for hours without even knowing what this feature looked like. From where we were working, all we could see was where the riders were shaping the take-off and the Alaskan valley in the background. When it was time to shoot, I hiked up a few hundred meters and then traversed over to the side, trying not to disturb the snow in the foreground. When I got to the side, I was able to see what it was these guys planned to jump over and how big it really was! I hiked up and down the slope I was on until I found the perfect angle. I held my breath and the boys dropped in. John Jackson made history that day by landing the largest backside double cork ever!" Right: Romina Amato, winner of the Energy category: "I was covering the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo in the Portuguese Azores from a boat. It was quite rough at the time and I was really happy that I had previous experience of shooting on boats so I knew I wouldn't get seasick. You need to be fully concentrated on finding good angles when shooting in such high swells, speaking to the boat driver to hold positions while protecting your gear and somehow managing to hold on while still needing both hands to shoot. I saw this angle between the rocks but it was difficult for the boat driver to stay in position, it was a very narrow gap and just a little movement one way or the other was the difference between seeing or not seeing the diver at all. The skipper fought so I could see what was going on and try to anticipate when to hit the right position to get the shot before the diver disappeared behind the rocks. Eventually it all fell into place!"(© Scott Serfas, Romina Amato/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Jimmy Wilson: "The US Open is as chaotic as surf contests get. You will never see more people show up to watch a surf event, and the number one person they come to see is Kelly Slater. It can be really hectic trying to shoot photos with a crowd like that. Luckily, Surfing Magazine lets me do my own thing and doesn't require a particular number of images per day or anything. They just want me to get some different perspectives from the online galleries and run-of-the-mill Instagram photos. The most important aspect of this shot was making friends with the security team -- they can be stingy no matter what kind of pass you have, but in this case I was allowed to run behind Kelly as he entered the water for this heat. I didn't have a pole cam or anything, I just held the camera up as high as I could and hoped the focus and composition worked out right. Normally I fail in these situations, but with a 24mm lens it's a little easier to hold it up there and guesstimate what you're shooting. When I checked the LCD screen after, I was really psyched and saved it for the magazine. Of course, it ended up caught in a page cut and never saw the light of day, but it's still one of my favorite lifestyle moments I've ever shot. Plus, of course Kelly went on to win the contest and $100k!" (© Jimmy Wilson/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Theodore Van Orman on his shot taken in Frisco, Colorado: "I was thrilled to check out this spot after seeing a few blurry cell phone photos of it. Full pipes are few and far between and one of my favorite things to ride. After being invited to check it out, I stayed up most of that night anticipating the next day. Two hours in the car and a short hike through a forest, and we were heading up into the belly of this beast. The only light source for this long tunnel was the sunlight piercing through the opposite end. During the entire trip through the tunnel, my eyes were fixated on that circle of light. We were high in elevation, and my equilibrium felt off. When we finally made it to the opening, I quickly put my lens on my body and metered a shot as my counterparts kept moving ahead into the light. I waited until Cody looked up into the light to shoot. I used just natural light with a shallow depth of field to make the subject pop. The subjects did not know I was taking this photo, which made it a completely natural moment. No planning, just riders mesmerized by the light at the end of the tunnel." (© Theodore Van Orman/Red Bull Illume) #

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Juan Cruz Rabaglia was named a finalist in the New Creativity category for this shot in Glaciar Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina. "Right beside the lateral moraine of Patagonia's Perito Moreno Glacier, natural dams of ice and rock are occasionally formed. Thanks to glacial-fed rivers and streams, these often give rise to small lakes. When the water pressure finds a crack, a slow process of ice boring begins. Thus, little by little, these caverns are sculpted underneath the glacier. When the lakes are emptied completely, for a brief period of time it is possible to explore these ephemeral and psychedelic ice galleries."(© Juan Cruz Rabaglia/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Florian Breitenberger: "In the summer of 2012 I was hired to shoot the Nine Knights Mountainbike event at Austria's Wildkogel. The weather conditions were not super good, so we had to focus on one or two good weather days to produce our entire media output. Since it was my job as an event photographer to highlight the sponsor's branding and lifestyle atmosphere, I also got the chance to shoot some creative angles during sunset and night sessions. Apart from the bad weather forecast, the event was perfect. Xavier "Sherwy" Pasamonte and all the other riders were riding super well. Xavier threw that superman a few more times during the event. Meanwhile I found this little lake beside the wooden castle. I thought about producing something different, so I turned off my flashes during the sunset session and tried to catch Xavier against the backlight of the setting sun and the reflection of the water at the same time. Afterwards I adjusted the contrast during post-production in the same way I visualized the image on the mountain before. I was very lucky to produce this high-contrast black and white photo combined with the perfect style of Xavier -- it was such an incredible atmosphere during the event!" (© Florian Breitenberger/Red Bull Illume) #

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Left: Finalist Christian Pondella: "Helmcken Falls, located in Wells Grey Provincial Park in British Columbia, is the fourth highest waterfall in Canada with a height of 141 meters. The water cascades over a natural amphitheater where the mist from the waterfall freezes to the overhanging and horizontal rock, creating a recent discovery for the world's elite ice climbers. Will Gadd and Tim Emmett were the first to discover and climb this severely overhanging cave. Due to the unique way the ice clings to the rock and the ability to place bolts into the rock, Will and Tim were able to scale the frozen walls with the safety of knowing their gear would not fail. Tim Emmett is on the second pitch of "Spray On", where the route is perfectly horizontal for about 20 meters. The climbers have cleared a path between the hanging ice daggers that encompass the cave and create a huge threat as many of them have the mass of an automobile and are extremely unstable and can randomly drop from above. When shooting this photo, I had to take extreme caution while standing underneath these free-hanging ice daggers. I wanted to show the strength required by Tim as he scaled across the roof and freeze the moment where he is hanging side by side with the ice daggers in this very unique and surreal part of the world." Right: Ray Demski's finalist shot of Bernd Zangerl in the Himalayas. "This image was taken during a bouldering trip to the Indian Himalayas. I used flashes to capture Bernd as he climbed this nearly 15m highball by the light of headlamps. It was some very delicate climbing and everybody held their breath in the near-freezing night. Once Bernd was down safely, I made several long exposures for the star trails and spent the rest of the night out alone to get some good options. The final image is a combination of the flash exposure with Bernd climbing, the star trails and lightpainting."(© Christian Pondella, Ray Demski/Red Bull Illume) #

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George Karbus, finalist in the Close Up category. "This photograph was taken on the west coast of Ireland at the most intimidating surf spot called "Rileys". I dove beneath the water with my diving mask, held my breath, and waited for the moment when local surfer Tom Lowe would pass with a powerful snap close enough to my lens. Water visibility is always very limited in Ireland, and I was lucky to get a clear shot like this. The image was captured with a Nikon D700 with a 16mm fisheye inside a Subal housing."(© George Karbus/Red Bull Illume) #

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Daniel Vojtech was named winner of the New Creativity category, for his photo of Tomas Slavik in a studio in Prague. "I had had this idea in my head for a long time: I wanted to do something similar to one of my older pictures with a snowboarder. For this new project, I chose four-cross rider Tomas Slavik. He is a former Czech freestyle champion and sees the progress of freestyle tricks from a different perspective. He performs completely new and impossible tricks on his MTB, and if something seems impossible now, it will be the norm in a few years. This shoot took place in a studio because we could control all the lights very easily and wanted to create a backstage feeling, and also because it was very easy to suspend the bike from the ceiling."(© Daniel Vojtech/Red Bull Illume) #

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Chris Burkard, winner of the Spirit category for this shot of surfers Keith Malloy and Dane Gudauskas in Unstad, Lofoten Islands, Norway: "We woke at dawn to what appeared to be clear skies and we immediately scrambled to get our things together. Windows of clear blue skies are rare in these parts of Norway and each minute that passed as we gathered our boards and wetsuits seemed twice as long. Jumping into the truck, we drove the cold icy roads looking for peaks on the horizon. Then just over the frozen hillside the top of a wave could be seen. Our excitement grew as we saw the mist of the offshore wave. So focused on the offshore waves ahead of us, we failed to see the looming clouds behind them. We ran to the shoreline and paddled straight out. The waves seemed perfect and we thought it would be a long session of the best arctic waves any of us had ever scored. Suddenly the winds changed and that looming cloud on the horizon had snuck up and was almost upon us. The rain began to pour and within minutes it began to snow. Caught in a blizzard, we did what we could to paddle in. Finally making it back to the truck, we took shelter and tried to wait out the storm. On this day, the weather got the best of us and our time spent sitting in the truck ended up being our downfall. The snow had piled high around us and soon it was pretty clear that our truck was not going anywhere fast. Dane and Keith knew another surf session was nowhere in sight and decided to head back into town. As the storm continued to brew the pair made their way back home." (© Chris Burkard/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist David Carlier: "The lower part of Mesa Falls in Targhee National Park in Idaho is definitely a world-class spot for shooting white water and descent waterfalls. As we heard the water level was pretty high, we left Jackson Hole early that morning with two boaters, Gary Edgeworth and Eric Seymour, and a videographer to shoot with a small waterproof Nikon camera fixed on the boats. Gary went first off the massive fall, taking off from a black rock that looked like a perfect kicker. Full speed ahead, he went with the flow, taking full advantage of the energy produced by the roaring waterfall. This shot was one of the first ones I took that day and looking at the screen on my camera, I knew straight away that the position was right and there was something going on. Shooting action sports is always pretty tough as most of the time the decisive moment happens only once. There is no time for hesitation. The key is often to have a pretty precise idea of the shot you want to achieve and then move fast to find a secure location and try to anticipate the moves of the rider." (© David Carlier/Red Bull Illume) #

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Scott Dickerson was named a finalist for his shot of surfers Mike McCune, Eric Newbury, and Dave Calkins riding a bore tide in Turnagain Arm, Alaska. "One thing my years of experience photographing in Alaska has taught me is to appreciate those magical moments when everything comes together. This photo is a defining moment for me where several of my passions aligned perfectly to create an image that I had been visualizing. This was when we first started surfing the Turnagain Arm bore tide on our stand up paddle boards and we were getting incredible 5 mile rides that would last up to 50 minutes. But the bore tide is a mysterious thing and sometimes it would be a clean perfect wave, and other times just a surge of turbulent whitewash, often both in the same ride. The morning before it was a bust, so I wasn't feeling too confident waking up early on this morning. I loaned two of my boards to friends and passed up on surfing the morning's wave so I could try and shoot some aerial photos. As we raced to beat the incoming wave, one of the surfers in the shot actually had to help me launch my paramotor from a short little strip of beach. It was an incredible morning with a picture-perfect wave and beautiful light from the sunrise. My three friends managed to ride the wave for about 40 minutes and I was able to shoot the entire time, flying back and forth over this spectacle of nature. In all the time I've surfed or photographed the bore tide, none was as photogenic a moment as this." (© Scott Dickerson/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Krystle Wright: "Twenty-four hours before this shoot, my original paramotor pilot pulled out as his daughter had gone into labor five weeks early. A few friends and I went driving around Moab, Utah, desperately trying to find a solution. Thankfully, we came across Lyn Ottinger who happened to own the only tandem trike in town. We struck a deal and thankfully my shoot was saved! As the BASE jumpers ascended Castleton Tower, we began the motor and started to buzz around the tower. I couldn't get clear radio contact with the jumpers and it was a little chaotic as we tried to communicate. In the end, the athletes would just jump when they were ready and it was sheer luck for me to be in position when Michael Tomchek took his 400ft leap. The shoot happened so fast that I didn't get a chance to see my images until I was back on the ground. I am incredibly stoked with this image and it has also inspired new ideas about how I can evolve this concept even further, which I hope to make happen at the end of the year." (© Krystle Wright/Red Bull Illume) #

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Benjamin Ginsberg's shot of Bobby Okvist high above the Wedge, in Newport Beach, California, was named a finalist. "Surfer Bobby Okvist and I started with a simple plan: to hunt down the largest waves of the swell. Hoping for an evening glass-off, we ventured back to the Wedge for our third session of the day. Exhausted from battling massive waves and long hikes from the previous sessions, I decided to stay dry and shoot from the beach. Shooting at this location often, I knew I wanted to set up far down the beach at an extreme angle, looking into any potential barrels, with the sun as far to my back as possible, and the cliffs of Newport Coast/Crystal Cove as a backdrop. A crowd of photographers in my favorite spot pushed me even further down the beach. Adding to the challenge, it was nearing sunset. Light was getting both less and more acutely angled, creating shadows within the wave face and bright highlights elsewhere. First wave out, Bobby was in position for the largest peak of the day. The wave was breaking so far out that when the refracted energy peaked, it crumbled. The wave chased Bobby towards shore, only to heave over and start barreling in the shallow water where a wave usually first breaks. Without enough speed to make it back to shore, and the wave violently closing in behind him, Bobby carved up the face and aired off the back, shocking even himself at the height he flew."(© Benjamin Ginsberg/Red Bull Illume) #

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Finalist Elias Kunosson: "I shot this image during the first autumn I spent in Are, Sweden. I had just moved out of my car and found a place to stay. Not really knowing the village that well, I had heard that there would be a market, so I decided to check it out. When I walked into the village I noticed posters saying they were going to have a FMX show down by the lake. I went back to my apartment, grabbed my camera and went to see if there was anything worth photographing. As it turned out, one of Sweden's best riders, Fredrik "Frog" Berggren, was going to be there. As I got down to the show area it was already smacked full with people. I saw some other photographers close to the ramp where it was very crowded. I thought there was no point in competing with them for the space, only to get the same kind of images as they would. I looked around and saw a fire escape on a nearby hotel, so I decided to climb up there and try and get an elevated view. When I got up, I decided I wanted to showcase the crowded area but at the same time leave the focus on the rider. Not owning a specific tilt/shift lens, I had to do the effect in post. I think it makes for a slightly surreal image while highlighting the action." (© Elias Kunosson/Red Bull Illume) #

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Nicolas Jutzi, finalist in the Illumination category: "The shot was taken before a sailing competition on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The boats were preparing for the start. The clouds were also getting bigger very quickly and we knew we were going to have a big storm, as usual for hot summer days. As the sky was getting darker, I thought it would be a good idea to put one of my cameras in a water housing in case it would start pouring. As I put in the last screw of the housing, the wind started to blow stronger. A couple of seconds later we were caught in heavy rain and the sky was almost black as night. All the boats were behind me in the dark but one of them was in line with the blue sky behind the storm. I took a couple of shots but this is the only one where there isn't too much water everywhere and you can see something!" (© Nicolas Jutzi/Red Bull Illume) #

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Left: Finalist Dave Lehl: "This photo happened on a road trip through the American Southwest. Originally I just wanted a shot of two skateboarders pushing down the famous "Forest Gump" road. Being that the road has a little steepness to it, the guys weren't pushing very hard, and the shot looked lame. So for one pass, I asked them both to push really hard. They came flying past me and both took a big push. However, Andy's back foot hit the back of his board, which sent him flying. Although I wasn't planning on a crash, I captured the moment that we all as skateboarders fear the most, that split second where you think "Oh shit, this is really going to hurt." Luckily Andy's a tough cookie and all he got was a scrape on his shoulder and forearm, and I got an awesome photo." Right: Rafal Meszka, Finalist in the Spirit category: "I went to Dahab, Egypt, with Emilia Biala to make a documentary about freedivers. Emilia is the Polish national record holder in freediving, and she also won second place at the 2011 World Championships AIDA Indoor Event. Disaster struck five months after this contest when Emilia was badly injured in a train accident in Szczekociny, Poland, in which 16 people died. The doctors said that Emilia probably wouldn't be able to dive anymore. This image was taken during her first dive after arriving in Dahab, and we were about to find out if what the doctors said was true. Fortunately, Emilia is still an excellent freediver, and at the time of writing she is busy preparing for another World Championship in Belgrade." (© Dave Lehl, Rafal Meszka/Red Bull Illume) #

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Stuart Gibson, finalist in the Close Up category: "We were surfing a shallow reef break in Fiji called Wilkes Pass, just off Namotu Island. It's a fun right-hander wave that gets solid on large SW swells. On this day it was about four to six foot (double over head). We got caught inside by a wide set, and the heavy slab section on the inside of Wilkes exploded right on top of us! It's always a little more comforting when someone else is in a bad situation with you, so I turned to look at Ryan on this duckdive -- we were laughing but scared at the same time, and I shot a sequence. This is the shot before the white wash landed on both of us, sending us high and dry on the coral." (© Stuart Gibson/Red Bull Illume)

People were warned to prepare for the worst on Sunday as Hurricane Sandy threatened winds of up to 100mph and surge flooding.

Officials told residents to head for higher ground as evacuations were ordered on the East Coast including a mandatory one for New York City which saw 375,000 people leave low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service issued a stark warning to residents along the New Jersey coast where the hurricane is predicted to make landfall on Monday night.

A statement read: 'If you are reluctant [to evacuate], think about your loved ones...think about the rescue/recovery teams who will rescue you if you are injured or recover your remains if you do not survive.'

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New York prepares: Tourists pose on the sandbags in front of the Statue of Liberty

New York prepares: Tourists pose on the sandbags in front of the Statue of Liberty

Leaving the city: A woman and her dog leave lower Manhattan on Sunday night as New Yorkers braced for the impact of Hurricane Sandy

Leaving the city: A woman and her dog leave lower Manhattan on Sunday night as New Yorkers braced for the impact of Hurricane Sandy

Ominous: A man watches the ferocious waves on Sunday in Berlin, Maryland

Ominous: A man watches the ferocious waves on Sunday in Berlin, Maryland

The skies above New York begin to look ominous as the first signs of the approaching megastorm form

The skies above New York begin to look ominous as the first signs of the approaching megastorm form

The warning from the Mount Holly weather service described the storm as 'extremely dangerous' and urged residents to exercise caution.

The storm is more than 700 miles wide, could bring up to ten inches of rain and cause widespread power outages.

President Obama warned that Sandy was a 'serious and big storm' and forecasters said it could be the largest ever to hit the United States.

The New York subway closed at 7pm for only the second time in history, buses were no longer running and flights in and out of the city cancelled.

The New York Stock Exchange will close its trading floor on Monday because it is located in a mandatory evacuation zone but continue to trade electronically.

NYSE Euronext said on Sunday it is putting in place contingency plans and will announce later when the trading floor will reopen.

VIDEO: President Obama warns: 'This is a big and serious storm'

President Barack Obama: 'This is a serious and big storm'

 

Deserted: Sand whips up along the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey where the storm was expected to make landfall on Monday night

Deserted: Sand whips up along the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey where the storm was expected to make landfall on Monday night

Lying in wait: Sandbags line the entrance of a building as people walk by near the Hudson River water front in New Jersey on Sunday night

Lying in wait: Sandbags line the entrance of a building as people walk by near the Hudson River water front in New Jersey on Sunday night

Protecting the assets: New York Stock Exchange workers place sand bags in front of doors and over electrical vaults at the exchange

Protecting the assets: New York Stock Exchange workers place sand bags in front of doors and over electrical vaults at the exchange

Catching a wave? A man with a surfboard and another commuter waits for one of the last subway trains in Manhattan today

Catching a wave? A man with a surfboard and another commuter waits for one of the last subway trains in Manhattan today

Isolated: Rain falls on a nearly deserted road ahead of Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Isolated: Rain falls on a nearly deserted road ahead of Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Protection: A woman arrives at an evacuation center in New York City this evening as hundreds of thousands of residents were told to evacuate by the Mayor

Protection: A woman arrives at an evacuation center in New York City this evening as hundreds of thousands of residents were told to evacuate by the Mayor

Trading has rarely stopped for weather. A blizzard led to a late start and an early close on January 8, 1996. The NYSE shut down on March 27, 1985 for Hurricane Gloria. Since the Great Depression, the longest suspension in trading at the NYSE occurred after 9/11 when the exchange closed for four days. The sheer size of the storm meant its effects would be felt from the mid-Atlantic states to New England. Officials issued warnings meant to reduce the risk of mass casualties as the National Guard was deployed to New York City.

Thrill-seekers: A mother and daughter stand on the beach in Maryland and take in the storm

Thrill-seekers: A mother and daughter stand on the beach in Maryland and take in the storm

On its way: A car plows through a flooded street in Norfolk, Virginia after the impact of Hurricane Sandy

On its way: A car plows through a flooded street in Norfolk, Virginia after the impact of Hurricane Sandy

Con Edison workers use sandbags to cover up power vaults in New York as they prepare for Hurricane Sandy which could be the biggest storm to hit the United States mainland when it hits on Monday

Con Edison workers use sandbags to cover up power vaults in New York as they prepare for Hurricane Sandy which could be the biggest storm to hit the United States mainland when it hits on Monday

Get out now: Residents in the evacuation zones on the fringes of New York City start to leave their homes

Get out now: Residents in the evacuation zones on the fringes of New York City start to leave their homes

A maintenance worker attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York on Sunday in anticipation of the arrival of the megastorm

A maintenance worker attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York on Sunday in anticipation of the arrival of the megastorm

Mayor Bloomberg ordered the mandatory evacuations of 375,000 people from low-lying areas.

Obama met with federal emergency officials for an update on the Category 1 storm's path and the danger it poses to the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

'My main message to everybody involved is that we have to take this seriously,' said Obama. He urged people to 'listen to your local officials.'

The President said emergency officials were confident that staging for the storm was in place.

Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit the East Coast late on Monday, then combine with two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid super-storm.

No go: Yellow caution is wrapped around the turnstiles at Wall St station in anticipation of the hurricane

No go: Yellow caution is wrapped around the turnstiles at Wall St station in anticipation of the hurricane

NYC Subway Closed: A warning sign about potential service changes due to Hurricane Sandy is seen at the Seventh Avenue subway station in New York today

NYC Subway Closed: A warning sign about potential service changes due to Hurricane Sandy is seen at the Seventh Avenue subway station in New York today

Closed for Business: Plywood covers the revolving doors in preparation for Hurricane Sandy at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York this morning

Closed for Business: Plywood covers the revolving doors in preparation for Hurricane Sandy at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York this morning

Only a few bread items remain on the shelves at the Waldbaums grocery store as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York

Only a few bread items remain on the shelves at the Waldbaums grocery store as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York

At least four battleground states are likely to be hit: New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Obama traveled the nearly three miles from the White House to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's headquarters in his motorcade. As part of the briefing, the president also met with FEMA workers and thanked them.

'My message to the governors as well as to the mayors is anything they need, we will be there, and we will cut through red tape.

'We are not going to get bogged down with a lot of rules,' he said. 'We want to make sure we are anticipating and leaning forward into making sure that we have the best possible response to what is going to be a big and messy system.'

Molly White, 9, from Frankford, Delaware, covers her head as she is pelted by blowing sand on the beach, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast in Ocean City, Maryland

Molly White, 9, from Frankford, Delaware, covers her head as she is pelted by blowing sand on the beach, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast in Ocean City, Maryland

A man walks alone on the boardwalk ahead of Hurricane Sandy after Governor Chris Christie's emergency declaration to shut down the city's casinos

A man walks alone on the boardwalk ahead of Hurricane Sandy after Governor Chris Christie's emergency declaration to shut down the city's casinos

Two pedestrians walk along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in Atlantic City New Jersey as the gambling mecca prepares for Hurricane Sandy

Two pedestrians walk along the Atlantic City Boardwalk in Atlantic City New Jersey as the gambling mecca prepares for Hurricane Sandy

The closure of New York City's transit system, the largest in the world, for only the second time in history means that almost 12 million people will be prevented from taking their usual route to work.

TRAVEL CHAOS IN NEW YORK
  • New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced service on subways will be curtailed beginning at 7pm
  • The bus network will cease to operate aat 9pm
  • Long Island Rail Road and
    Metro-North Railroad will start their finals trains by 7pm from terminal locations.
  • Stations will close once the last trains pass through
  • New Jersey has suspended all services from 4 p.m. today until 2 a.m. Monday

The storm surge could be higher than the Manhattan flood walls and pour into subway tunnels. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he ordered an evacuation of the low-lying areas along the edges of the city including parts of lower Manhattan, sections of Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Rockaways in Queens. He said 72 evacuation centres had been created around the city and he also ordered the closure of schools. Lower Manhattan, the Rockaways and a low-lying area of Queens are the first areas to be evacuated. 'If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are going in to rescue you,' he said at a news conference Sunday.'... This is a serious and dangerous storm.’ He added that those who didn’t leave wouldn’t be arrested. New York City police officers went door-to - door this evening to take down the names of those who had decided not to leave.

To help direct any response to the damage caused by Sandy, Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the New York Army and Air National Guard to mobilize in response to Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo said the Guard will deploy up to 1,175 troops starting on Sunday. They'll help local authorities respond to storm damage in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. On Sunday, 200 New York Army National Guard soldiers were deployed to New York City. By 6 p.m. Monday, Cuomo said 250 soldiers and 150 airmen would be in place on Long Island. Another 200 soldiers will go on duty Monday at armories in Binghamton, Walton, and Horseheads in the Southern Tier. Statewide, another 150 soldiers and airmen will be mobilized to provide command and control and logistical support.

Customers rush to buy groceries at the Fairway super market in New York City today as forecasters claim that Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to ever hit the United States

Customers rush to buy groceries at the Fairway super market in New York City today as forecasters claim that Hurricane Sandy could be the biggest storm to ever hit the United States

An empty shelf is seen at the Fairway super market in New York after desperate shoppers stripped the store of essential goods such as water

An empty shelf is seen at the Fairway super market in New York after desperate shoppers stripped the store of essential goods such as water

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Warning: New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, center, said there was a mandatory evacuation ordered for some parts of the city

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives a storm updtate on the advancing Hurricane Sandy at the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management today

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives a storm updtate on the advancing Hurricane Sandy at the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management today. If forecasts hold, and especially if the storm surge coincides with high tide, the effects should be much more severe for the city said Klaus Jacob, a Columbia University researcher who has advised the city on coastal risks. While the storm may not be the worst-case scenario, Jacob said he expected the subway system, as well as underground electrical systems and neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, to be at least partially flooded. Governor Cuomo said: 'The transportation system is the lifeblood of the New York City region, and suspending all service is not a step I take lightly. 'But keeping New Yorkers safe is the first priority, and the best way to do that is to make sure they are out of harm's way before gale-force winds can start wreaking havoc on trains and buses.' The service is expected to resume operations about 12 hours after the storm ends, officials said at the news conference - which would put services on track to resume for Tuesday afternoon.

Edison trucks stage in Union Square today prepare for any city-wide power outages because of the advent of Hurricane Sandy

Edison trucks stage in Union Square today prepare for any city-wide power outages because of the advent of Hurricane Sandy

Construction workers disperse boards of wood to cover air vents that could cause the New York subway system to flood in preparation for Hurricane Sandy in New York on Sunday afternoon

Construction workers disperse boards of wood to cover air vents that could cause the New York subway system to flood in preparation for Hurricane Sandy in New York on Sunday afternoon

Preparations: Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers cover an entrance to the Canal St. A, C, and E station with plywood to help prevent flooding

Preparations: Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers cover an entrance to the Canal St. A, C, and E station with plywood to help prevent flooding

State of emergency: New Yorkers living in the Red Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from storm surges and Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered their mandatory evacuation this afternoon

State of emergency: New Yorkers living in the Red Zone A face the highest risk of flooding from storm surges and Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered their mandatory evacuation this afternoon

Matt Francis of Virginia Beach, Va., holds on to his hat, as the wind driven sand and rain from Hurricane Sandy blows across the beaches of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach, Virginia today

Matt Francis of Virginia Beach, Va., holds on to his hat, as the wind driven sand and rain from Hurricane Sandy blows across the beaches of Sandbridge in Virginia Beach, Virginia today. With more than 5 million commuters using it daily, New York City’s subway system is the largest in the world. In addition New Jersey Transit announced they will implement a gradual system-wide shutdown of all bus, rail, light rail and Access Link service, ahead of the massive storm bearing down on the state. Governor  Chris Christie announced the plans Sunday afternoon. He says the shutdown will start at 4 pm Sunday and continue through 2 am on Monday. The service suspension process requires the relocation and securing of buses, rail equipment and other NJ Transit assets away from flood-prone areas. It also requires complete coordination with state and local officials throughout the process.

Jeremy Seidel, of Waterford, Conn., covers storefront windows with plywood in the Watch Hill section of Westerly, Rhode Island today

Jeremy Seidel, of Waterford, Conn., covers storefront windows with plywood in the Watch Hill section of Westerly, Rhode Island today

Administration officials also say the Atlantic City Rail Line will suspend operations at 4 pm Sunday due to the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions and the continued evacuation of Atlantic City.

The measures announced in New York City come as governors from North Carolina to Connecticut declared states of emergency ahead of Sandy's arrival

As of  2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, Sandy was at Category 1 strength, packing 75 mph winds, about 270 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving northeast at 14 mph according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Currently about 575 miles south of New York City the storm was is so big that forecasters could not say with any certainty which areas would get the worst of it. 'We're looking at impact of greater than 50 to 60 million people,' said Louis Uccellini, head of environmental prediction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

STORM SURGE: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A NATURAL DISASTER

New York City’s Office of Emergency Management offers advice for what to do in case disaster strikes:

  • Residents should construct an emergency supply kit, complete with a gallon of water per person per day for drinking, as well as non-perishable foods, first aid kids, and flashlights
  • In case drinking water becomes polluted, iodine tablets are recommended, and supplies for personal hygiene such as toothbrush, tooth paste, soap, and any medications needed
  • People should designate two meeting places – one near the home, and the other place in the neighborhood, like a library or place of worship
  • It is also extremely helpful to keep a list of emergency contacts, both in the area, and out-of-town in case those in the city cannot be reached
  • Those living around bodies of water have the greatest risk of flooding from Sandy’s storm surge and are now subject to mandatory evacuations ordered by Mayor Bloomberg. Those further inland have less of a danger

The storm could bring the country's financial nerve center to a standstill, although the major Wall Street exchanges said they planned to open as usual on Monday because they have alternative facilities they can use. Worried residents in the hurricane's path packed stores, searching for generators, flashlights, batteries, food and other supplies in anticipation of power outages. New York City schools will be shut on Monday. Other local governments also announced school closures.

As Hurricane Sandy trekked north from the Caribbean — where it left nearly five dozen dead — to meet two other powerful winter storms, experts said it didn't matter how strong the storm was when it hit land: The rare hybrid storm that follows will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

'This storm that is going to be impacting the mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast...is going to be destructive, historic, and unfortunately life threatening,' AccuWeather's Bernie Rayno said to ABC News

VIDEO: LATEST. Hurricane Sandy, now named hybrid 'Frankenstorm' threatens East Coast

Hurricane Sandy: Hybrid 'Frankenstorm' threatens East Coast

A satellite image provided by NASA of Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 11 a.m. EDT churns off the east coast as it moves north on October 28, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean

A satellite image provided by NASA of Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 11 a.m. EDT churns off the east coast as it moves north on October 28, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) sits with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William Craig Fugate (right) for a briefing about Hurricane Sandy today

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) sits with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William Craig Fugate (right) for a briefing about Hurricane Sandy today

US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters in an overflow area during a rally at Celina Fieldhouse in Celina, Ohio, today

US Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters in an overflow area during a rally at Celina Fieldhouse in Celina, Ohio, today

A fisherman stands on a rock to surf cast in the turbulent waves kicked up by Hurricane Sandy in Montauk, New York

A fisherman stands on a rock to surf cast in the turbulent waves kicked up by Hurricane Sandy in Montauk, New York

Protective berms are viewed on Compo Beach as the first signs of Hurricane Sandy approach on October 28, 2012 in Westport, Connecticut

Protective berms are viewed on Compo Beach as the first signs of Hurricane Sandy approach on October 28, 2012 in Westport, Connecticut

A man leaves a supermarket with a shopping cart full of water as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy n Westport, Connecticut

A man leaves a supermarket with a shopping cart full of water as people prepare for Hurricane Sandy n Westport, Connecticut

Ed Morrissey boards up a friend's house prior to Hurricane Sandy arriving in Milford, Connecticut this morning

Ed Morrissey boards up a friend's house prior to Hurricane Sandy arriving in Milford, Connecticut this morning

People stand on the Ocean City Music Pier watching heavy surf caused by Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey

People stand on the Ocean City Music Pier watching heavy surf caused by Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey

Waves break against a bulkhead in the Brigands Bay area of Frisco, North Carolina today as Hurricane Sandy hits

Waves break against a bulkhead in the Brigands Bay area of Frisco, North Carolina today as Hurricane Sandy hits

U.S. stock exchanges and Wall Street banks were sending employees into Manhattan on Sunday to stay in hotels and co-workers' homes, as markets prepared to open for business on Monday even as Sandy brought public transportation to a halt.

Insurers also prepared for the storm's arrival, activating claims teams, staging adjusters near the locations most likely to be affected and generally getting ready to pay for a potentially huge volume of losses.

While Sandy's 75 mph winds were not overwhelming for a hurricane, its exceptional width means the winds will last as long as two days, wearing down trees, roofs and buildings and piling up rainfall and storm surge.

Hurricane-force winds extended 175 miles from the center of the asymmetrical storm, while its lesser tropical storm-force winds spanned 850 miles in diameter.

'That's gigantic,' said Chris Landsea, the hurricane center's science and operations officer.

At high tide, it could bring a surge of seawater up to 11 feet above ground level to Long Island Sound and New York Harbor, forecasters said.

'Given the large wind field associated with Sandy, elevated water levels could span multiple tide cycles, resulting in repeated and extended periods of coastal and bayside flooding,' the forecasters said.

Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized for not interrupting a vacation in Florida while a snowstorm pummeled the state in 2010, broke off campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in North Carolina on Friday to return home.

Ominous: In this handout image provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy churns off the east coast on Sunday out in the Atlantic Ocean

Ominous: In this handout image provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy churns off the east coast on Sunday out in the Atlantic Ocean

People take a walk along the beach as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia this morning

People take a walk along the beach as high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy arrive in Virginia Beach, Virginia this morning

Updated map showing the potential track and storm forecast for Hurricane Sandy, as of 8 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 28

Updated map showing the potential track and storm forecast for Hurricane Sandy, as of 8 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 28

5 Reasons Why Sandy is Expected to be a Superstorm

1. It is a Northbound Hurricane

Hurricane Sandy is moving slowly toward the north-northeast but is expected to turn to the north and west later Sunday and Monday, forecasters say. At some point, it's expected to become what's known as an extratropical storm. Unlike a tropical system like a hurricane, which gets its power from warm ocean waters, extratropical systems are driven by temperature contrasts in the atmosphere.

Although Sandy is currently a hurricane, it's important not to focus too much on its official category or its precise path (current models show it making landfall over New Jersey or Delaware sometime early Tuesday). It's a massive system that will affect a huge swath of the eastern U.S., regardless of exactly where it hits or its precise wind speed. For example, tropical storm-force winds can be felt more than 500 miles from the storm's center, according to the National Hurricane Center. It's already caused some minor flooding in North Carolina's Outer Banks and has prompted evacuations elsewhere. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has personnel and supplies spread as far west as the Ohio River Valley, said Craig Fugate, the agency's director.

2. Early Winter Storm

Sandy is expected to merge with a wintry system from the west, at which point it will become the powerful superstorm that has forecasters and officials across the eastern U.S. Winds from that system will pull Sandy back toward the U.S. mainland.

3. Arctic Air from the North

Frigid air coming south from Canada also is expected to collide with Sandy and the wintry storm from the west, creating a megastorm that is expected to park over the northeast for days. The brunt of the storm could hit areas farther inland. Officials are bracing for the worst: nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow.

4. High Tides could Worsen Flooding

Further complicating matters is the possibility for dangerous storm surges: A full moon means the tides will be higher than usual, which will make it easier for the storm's powerful winds to push water into low-lying areas. That, coupled with the threat of several inches of rain, has officials working to shore up flood defenses.

Storm surge could reach anywhere from 2 to 11 feet along the northeastern coast, forecasters say. Inland river flooding also is a serious concern.

5. Combo of Snow, Wind Increase Risk for Widespread Power Outages

Storms in recent years have left hundreds of thousands of people in the eastern U.S. without power, sometimes for days at a time. Utilities have been bringing in extra crews and lining up tree trimmers so they're prepared, and with good reason. The superstorm brings two possibilities for knocking out electricity. For one, hurricane-force winds of at 74 mph could send tree branches into power lines, or even topple entire trees and power poles. Those left standing could succumb to snow, which could weigh down still-leafy branches enough to also topple trees.

'I can be as cynical as anyone,' said Christie, who declared a state of emergency Saturday. 'But when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they're predicting, you're going to wish you weren't as cynical as you otherwise might have been.'

'Don't be stupid. Get out and go to higher, safer ground,' New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today.

'Let's get to work on this. We know how to do this. We've been through this before.'

Eighty-five-year-old former sailor Ray Leonard agreed. And he knows to heed warnings.

Leonard and two crewmates in his 32-foot sailboat, Satori, rode out 1991's infamous 'perfect storm,' made famous by the Sebastian Junger best-selling book of the same name, before being plucked from the Atlantic off Martha's Vineyard, Mass., by a Coast Guard helicopter.

'Don't be rash,' Leonard said Saturday from his home in Fort Myers, Fla. 'Because if this does hit, you're going to lose all those little things you've spent the last 20 years feeling good about.'

Sandy could have a brutal impact on major cities in the target zone. In New York, city officials discussed whether to shut the subway system on Sunday in advance of the storm, which could bring the country's financial nerve center to a standstill.

The storm could cause the worst flooding Connecticut has seen in more than 70 years, said the state's governor, Dannel P. Malloy.

High winds blow sea foam onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina today as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area

High winds blow sea foam onto Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina today as wind and rain from Hurricane Sandy move into the area

Rising tides: A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast today in Ocean City, Maryland

Rising tides: A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the east coast today in Ocean City, Maryland

Freak weather: High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina

Freak weather: High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina

Sea foam blown onto the shore of North Carolina from Hurricane Sandy resembles snow

Sea foam blown onto the shore of North Carolina from Hurricane Sandy resembles snow

View from Space: Handout satellite image made and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on 28 October 2012 of Hurricane Sandy east of the US state of Georgia

View from Space: Handout satellite image made and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on 28 October 2012 of Hurricane Sandy east of the US state of Georgia

This morning, Sandy was located about 260 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with top sustained winds of 75 miles per hour early Sunday, the NHC said.

The storm was moving over the Atlantic parallel to the U.S. coast at 13 mph (20 km/h), but was forecast to make a tight westerly turn toward the U.S. coast on Sunday night.

Tropical storm conditions were spreading across the coast of North Carolina on Sunday morning and gale force winds are forecast to begin affecting the New York area and southern New England by Monday morning, the NHC added.

Sandy could be the largest storm to hit the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website.

'The size of this alone, affecting a heavily populated area, is going to be history making,' said Jeff Masters, a hurricane specialist who writes a blog posted on the Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com).

Sandy could hit Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, one of the most densely populated regions of the country and home to tens of millions of people.

Forecasters said Sandy was a rare, hybrid 'super storm' created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm, possibly causing up to 12 inches of rain in some areas, as well as heavy snowfall inland.

Sandy killed at least 66 people as it made its way through the Caribbean islands, including 51 in Haiti, mostly from flash flooding and mudslides, according to authorities.

The approaching storm forced a change of plans for both presidential candidates ahead of the November 6 election.

The White House said President Obama canceled a campaign appearance in Virginia on Monday and another stop in Colorado on Tuesday, and will instead monitor the storm from Washington.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney rescheduled campaign events planned for Virginia on Sunday and was flying to Ohio instead.

All along the U.S. coast worried residents packed stores, buying generators, candles, food and other supplies in anticipation of power outages.

Some local governments announced schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

'They're freaking out,' said Joe Dautel, a clerk at a hardware store in Glenside, Pennsylvania. 'I'm selling people four, five, six packs of batteries - when I had them.'

A police officer sets up a road block on South Oregon Inlet Road as water from Hurricane Sandy covers the road in Nags Head, North Carolina this morning

A police officer sets up a road block on South Oregon Inlet Road as water from Hurricane Sandy covers the road in Nags Head, North Carolina this morning

Cody Billotte walks through the high water as he loads his car to go to work as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Maryland

Cody Billotte walks through the high water as he loads his car to go to work as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Maryland

Sandy weakened briefly to a tropical storm Saturday but was soon back up to Category 1 strength, packing 75 mph winds.

It was about 260 miles (420 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and moving northeast at 13 mph as of 5 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm was expected to continue moving parallel to the Southeast coast most of the day and approach the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night, before reaching southern New England later in the week.

It was so big, however, and the convergence of the three storms so rare, that 'we just can't pinpoint who is going to get the worst of it,' said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Officials are particularly worried about the possibility of subway flooding in New York City, said Uccellini, of NOAA.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to prepare to shut the city's subways, buses and suburban trains.

The city closed the subways before Hurricane Irene last year, and a Columbia University study predicted that an Irene surge just 1 foot higher would have paralyzed lower Manhattan.

Up and down the Eastern Seaboard and far inland, officials urged residents and businesses to prepare in ways big and small.

On Saturday evening, Amtrak began canceling train service to parts of the East Coast, including between Washington, D.C., and New York.

Airlines started moving planes out of airports to avoid damage and adding Sunday flights out of New York and Washington in preparation for flight cancellations on Monday.

The Virginia National Guard was authorized to call up to 500 troops to active duty for debris removal and road-clearing, while homeowners stacked sandbags at their front doors in coastal towns.

'You never want to be too naive, but ultimately, it's not in our hands anyway,' said Andrew Ferencsik, 31, as he purchased plywood and 2-by-4 lumber from a Home Depot in Lewes, Del.

Utility officials warned rains could saturate the ground, causing trees to topple into power lines, and told residents to prepare for several days at home without power.

President Barack Obama was monitoring the storm and working with state and locals governments to make sure they get the resources needed to prepare, administration officials said.

In North Carolina's Outer Banks, a group of about 20 people was forced to wait out the storm on Portsmouth Island, a former fishing village that is now uninhabited and accessible only by private ferry.

'We tried to get off the island and the ferry service shut down on us,' said Bill Rowley, 49, of Rocky Mount, N.C.

Hurricane humor: Store workers Fletcher Birch, right, and Jay Kleman finish boarding up the windows on a surf store in Ocean City, Maryland

Rowley said he could see 15-foot seas breaking over the island's dunes, enough to bring water to the island's interior.

'We'll be inundated and it'll probably be worse tomorrow,' he said.

In New Jersey, hundreds of coastal residents started moving inland. Christie's emergency declaration will force the shutdown of Atlantic City's 12 casinos for only the fourth time in the 34-year history of legalized gambling here.

City officials said they would begin evacuating the gambling hub's 30,000 residents at noon Sunday, busing them to mainland shelters and schools.

The storm also forced the presidential campaign to juggle schedules. Romney scrapped plans to campaign Sunday in Virginia and switched his schedule for the day to Ohio.

First lady Michelle Obama canceled an appearance in New Hampshire for Tuesday, and Obama moved a planned Monday departure for Florida to Sunday night to beat the storm. He also canceled appearances in Northern Virginia on Monday and Colorado on Tuesday.

Wicked weather: Beachgoers walk in the wind and rain as waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina

Wicked weather: Beachgoers walk in the wind and rain as waves generated by Hurricane Sandy crash into Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina

A state of emergency was declared yesterday  in both New York and New Jersey as officials warned the already-killer Hurricane Sandy that is barreling toward the East coast will be the worst case scenario affecting a third of the U.S. and endangering as many as 66 million Americans.

'We should not underestimate the impact of this storm and not assume the predictions will be wrong,' New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said as he ordered the evacuation of much of the coast - including Atlantic City casinos. 'We have to be prepared for the worst.'

Some residents of the state were warned to get ready for power outages that could last from seven to 10 days, and portable generators are selling out all up and down the Atlantic Seaboard.

The tempest, which has been dubbed 'Frankenstorm' because of its proximity to Halloween is expected to dump over a foot of rain onto the Atlantic coast, arriving during a full moon when tides are near their highest increasing the likelihood of coastal flooding potential along the Eastern Seaboard.

On Saturday night, the White House announced that President Obama is canceling campaign appearances in Northern Virginia on Monday and Colorado on Tuesday so he can monitor Hurricane Sandy.

Obama is still scheduled to make campaign visits to Orlando, Fla., and Youngstown, Ohio Monday before returning to the White House. Other changes to the campaign schedule will be announced as warranted.

Up close and personal: Christy Deal of Whiteville, North Carolina, tries to hold on to an umbrella as her son Cage looks on during a trip to see Hurricane Sandy as it causes high surf and winds in Ocean Isle Beach

Up close and personal: Christy Deal of Whiteville, North Carolina, tries to hold on to an umbrella as her son Cage looks on during a trip to see Hurricane Sandy as it causes high surf and winds in Ocean Isle Beach

A wave crashes over the protecting sandbags in front of the houses on the east side of Ocean Isle Beach during Hurricane Sandy in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

A wave crashes over the protecting sandbags in front of the houses on the east side of Ocean Isle Beach during Hurricane Sandy in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

The White House says Obama is being regularly updated on the storm. He has directed his team to work to bring all available resources needed by state and local governments preparing for the storm, which could affect a third of the country with high winds, heavy rains and flooding.

Wind gusts of up to 75 mph are expected when the storm hits on Tuesday with waves of up to 20 -feet and widespread power outages and on higher ground up to two feet of snow is expected to fall in Virginia and Ohio.

Ominous future: Newlyweds Kyle Legman and Michelle Sheivachman pose for their wedding pictures under storm clouds, across from New York's Lower Manhattan

Ominous future: Newlyweds Kyle Legman and Michelle Sheivachman pose for their wedding pictures under storm clouds, across from New York's Lower Manhattan

Aircraft from the 106th Rescue Wing depart F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in preparation for Hurricane Sandy in West Hampton Beach, New York

Aircraft from the 106th Rescue Wing depart F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in preparation for Hurricane Sandy in West Hampton Beach, New York

Amusement at Coney Island are seen deserted for winter as the seaside resort prepares to face its second massive storm in two years

Amusement at Coney Island are seen deserted for winter as the seaside resort prepares to face its second massive storm in two years

An 800-mile wide swath of the country from the East Coast to the Great Lakes could see 50 mph winds regardless of Sandy's strength.

'This is not a coastal threat alone,' said Craig Fugate, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 'This is a very large area.'

Atlantic City's 12 casinos will close at 4pm Sunday for only the fourth time in the 34-year history of legalized gambling there, and officials advised residents of flood-prone areas to stay with family or be ready to leave. Airlines said to expect cancellations and waived change fees for passengers who want to reschedule.

Atlantic City officials said they would begin evacuating the gambling hub's 30,000 residents at noon Sunday, busing them to mainland shelters and schools.

Tom Foley, Atlantic City's emergency management director, recalled the March 1962 storm when the ocean and the bay met in the center of the city.

'This is predicted to get that bad,' he said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy warned the residents of his state, saying, 'Assume that you will be in the midst of flooding conditions, the likes of which you may not have seen at any of the major storms that have occurred over the last 30 years.'

In New York City the subway system was last completely closed during Irene, the first such shutdown ever for weather-related reasons.

Last year's Hurricane Irene was a minimal hurricane that caused widespread damage as it moved north along the coast after making landfall in North Carolina.

With catastrophic inland flooding in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont, federal officials say Irene caused $15.8 billion in damage.

All hands on deck: Members of the Joint Base prepare for the impact of Hurricane Sandy by sandbagging low lying areas at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

All hands on deck: Members of the Joint Base prepare for the impact of Hurricane Sandy by sandbagging low lying areas at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey

'It's going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impact for a lot of people. Wind damage, widespread power outages, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and somebody is going to get a significant surge event.'

Sandy is 'looking like a very serious storm that could be historic,' said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the forecasting service Weather Underground. 'Mother Nature is not saying, `Trick or treat.' It's just going to give tricks.'

Some have compared the tempest to the so-called Perfect Storm that struck off the coast of New England in 1991, but that one hit a less populated area.

Breakage: Piles of sand were trucked onto the beach in North Wildwood, New Jersey in attempts to slow the waves

Breakage: Piles of sand were trucked onto the beach in North Wildwood, New Jersey in attempts to slow the waves

Masters said this could be as big, perhaps bigger, than the worst East Coast storm on record, a 1938 New England hurricane that is sometimes known as the Long Island Express, which killed nearly 800 people.

If the storm hits farther north than forecast and comes in closer to Long Island - which is still well within the National Hurricane Center's cone of uncertainty for where the storm can come ashore - storm surge in the New York City area could be three to six feet, which might be enough to put water into the New York City subway system, Masters said.

Last year Irene missed doing that by only eight inches, he said.

Some U.S. airlines are giving travelers a way out if they want to scrap their plans due to Hurricane Sandy. JetBlue, US Airways and Spirit Airlines are offering waivers to customers who wish to reschedule their flights without paying the typical fee of up to $150. The offers cover passengers flying just about anywhere from Latin America to New Hampshire. Most other airlines are monitoring the storm and plan to update passengers later Friday. The airlines have only canceled a handful of flights so far, nearly all of them in and out of Florida and the Caribbean. Local forecaster's in Philadelphia have warned that the storm could directly hit the City of Brotherly Love and residents in South Jersey have begun stocking up on bottled water and batteries to prepare. The storm could also knock out East Coast refineries responsible for producing more than 6 per cent off the nation's fuel, potentially causing an increase in gas prices across the country.

 

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