Hurrican Sandy forces 450,000 to Evacuate
(CNN) -- People stranded in flooding after ignoring evacuation orders were being saved Monday morning as Hurricane Sandy took aim at the Mid-Atlantic coast, bringing some of the nation's busiest cities to a standstill.
Dramatic rescue efforts were under way in Oak Orchard, Delaware, a community along the Indian River Bay and a part of the state that was under a mandatory evacuation over the weekend. Officials across the Eastern Seaboard had implored residents to obey evacuation orders, emphasizing that local authorities could be put in danger if they tried to save them. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put it most bluntly: "Don't be stupid. Get out!"
Still, some didn't leave. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said the National Guard and local fire and police officials were rescuing people in his state early Monday.
It's just one of the scenes that make Sandy seem straight out of a disaster blockbuster: A killer storm takes aim at one of the most populated regions of the country.
"This is the most catastrophic event that we have faced and been able to plan for in any of our lifetimes," Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy warned.
An expected storm surge at midnight could raise water levels to 11 feet above normal high tide, bringing "the potential to cause unprecedented damage."
Along the Eastern Seaboard, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes. New York City landmarks are eerily empty. The nation's capital is emptied of government workers. Much of the region was settling into paralysis, bracing for what's to come.
From North Carolina to Maine, forecasters warned that Sandy was likely to collide with a cold front and spawn a "superstorm" that could generate flash floods, snowstorms and massive power outages.
About 50 million people, from Virginia to Massachusetts, are expected to feel the effects of Sandy.
"It could be bad," said U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Rattior, "or it could be devastation."comments powered by Disqus