New York City is in lockdown as the American east coast braces itself for mega-storm Hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered the evacuation of low-lying areas of the city, which could affect 375,000 people, as well as the closure of all public transport saying the hurricane is a "serious and dangerous storm".
75mph winds are expected to bring a "life-threatening" surge of floodwater right across the Mid-Atlantic coast as well as 10in of rain and 2ft of snow.
A maintenance worker named Vitto attaches plywood to a sidewalk grate at the 2 Broadway building of Lower Manhattan in New York
Bloomberg said in a press conference: "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."
President Obama urged Americans "to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials, because they are going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with this storm over the coming days" in a separate press conference.
A state of emergency has been declared in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC and a coastal region of North Carolina.
Scroll down for live updates
The subway will close from 7pm (23:00 GMT) on Sunday evening and all buses will cease two hours later. It is only the second time in history that New York's travel network has been shut down, the first being last year when Hurricane Irene struck.
Sandy has already killed 60 people in the Caribbean in the past week including a British man who was blown off the roof of his luxury Bahamas home whilst trying to repair a window shutter.
The sheer scale of Hurricane Sandy is apparent in this NASA satellite photo
Up to 60 million people across 12 states could be affected when it makes landfall as energy companies warn homes could be without power for up to ten days.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said: "A situation like this, you don't want to be overly panicked and overly prepared, but you want to be prudent, you want to do what's necessary."
Many major airlines have announced they will be suspending flights into New York and Washington DC on Monday.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks about measures the city is taking in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy
The New York Stock Exchange has no plans to close as yet. Spokesman Rich Adamonis told Reuters news agency: "We continue to monitor the situation and to communicate with government officials, regulators, and markets participants."
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, warned people not to be complacent: "I know everyone's saying this isn't going to happen… that the weathermen always get it wrong.
"We have to be prepared for the worst here. I can be as cynical as any of you but when the storm comes, if it's as bad as they're predicting it will be, you're gonna wish you weren't as cynical as you might otherwise have been."
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have had to amend campaigning plans to take account of the extreme weather. Obama is holding conference calls to plan an emergency response whilst Romney is heading to Ohio instead of a planned trip to Virginia.
11/04/2012 12:26 AM EDT
PHOTO: A Marathon Wedding Proposal, Minus The Marathon
HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:
Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.
"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.
Photo by Damon Scheleur
11/04/2012 12:25 AM EDT
Check Donation Lists
Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.
-Catharine Smith, HuffPost
11/03/2012 10:42 PM EDT
Brooklyn Regions Still Lack Electricity, Heat and Water Days After Storm
HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.
11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT
On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities
At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.
LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.
"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."
"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."
Read the full story on Huntington Patch.
11/03/2012 9:38 PM EDT
Gasoline Shortage Likely To Last For Several More Days
Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.
11/03/2012 8:50 PM EDT
Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time
HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:
On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.
11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT
Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System
@ USACE_HQ :
Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system... http://t.co/5jMXDhRc
11/03/2012 8:15 PM EDT
$12 Million Donated So Far To NYC Mayor's Fund For Recovery
@ MikeBloomberg :
If you would like to donate: visit http://t.co/9w8egqxD So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.
11/03/2012 7:52 PM EDT
Don't Touch Downed Power Lines
@ usNWSgov :
Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC
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