NEW YORK CITY (BP) -- Hurricane Sandy threatened to impact 60 million Americans Oct. 29 as it churned toward the Eastern Seaboard with winds exceeding 90 mph, causing President Obama to declare a state of emergency in the nation's capital and in states from North Carolina to Connecticut.
"People will die in this storm," Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley bluntly warned as he urged residents to evacuate or hunker down ahead of the potentially historic storm, which was forecast to make landfall Monday night or early Tuesday along the New Jersey coast.
As of Monday afternoon, 116,000 customers were without power in seven states, CNN.com reported. Service on mass transit systems was halted in New York City, Washington and Philadelphia ahead of the storm, thousands of airline flights were canceled, classes were called off for more than 2 million public school students, and government offices were closed.
The New York Stock Exchange closed Monday and announced it would remain closed Tuesday, marking the first time it was closed for a weather event since Hurricane Gloria in 1985, CNN reported.
Obama, along with Mitt Romney, canceled campaign events because of the approaching natural disaster.
"At this stage, everybody is confident that the staging process, the prepositioning of resources, commodities, equipment that are going to be needed to respond to this storm are in place," the president said after meeting with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Southern Baptists were among those assembling resources for a prompt response to the hurricane.
Baptist disaster relief directors and volunteers in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were on alert, officials said, expecting help from Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and other states. Officials expected the hurricane to bring flooding, power outages and fallen trees.
In the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey, where officials were expecting a direct hit from Sandy, volunteers were expected to emerge after the storm, disaster relief director Karlene Campbell said.
"Because Pennsylvania/South Jersey is getting a direct hit from this, a lot of our volunteers are looking to their own welfare until the storm passes, of course with their property, home and family ..." Read More