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Date published: 10/30/2012
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.--Stripped of hurricane status but every bit as dangerous, the weather monster known as Sandy roared ashore in New Jersey Monday night after washing away part of the Atlantic City boardwalk, putting the presidential campaign on hold and threatening to cripple Wall Street and the New York subway system with an epic surge of seawater.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of the enormous storm made landfall at 8 p.m. near Atlantic City, after it was reclassified from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone.
Sandy had sustained winds of 85 mph. Forecasters say it's no longer a hurricane, but was still a vast and dangerous hybrid storm.
Sandy is combining with a wintry storm from the west and cold air from the Arctic. The superstorm could menace some 50 million people in the nation's most heavily populated corridor, from big East Coast cities to the Great Lakes.
It was expected to converge with two cold-weather systems to form a fearsome superstorm of snow, rain and wind. Forecasters warned of 20-foot waves bashing into the Chicago lakefront and up to 3 feet of snow in West Virginia.
Airlines canceled more than 12,000 flights, disrupting the plans of travelers all over the world, and storm damage was projected at $10 billion to $20 billion, meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.
At least two U.S. deaths were blamed on Sandy: One person died in a storm-related traffic accident in Maryland, and a Pennsylvania man fell from a tree while trimming branches in preparation for the hurricane.
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney canceled their campaign appearances at the very height of the race, with just over a week to go before Election Day. The president pledged the government's help and made a direct plea from the White House to those in the storm's path: If told to evacuate, he said, people should do so.
Sandy, which killed 69 people in the Caribbean before making its way up the Atlantic, began to hook left at midday, moving west-northwest at almost 30 mph--faster than forecasters expected.