ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Hurricane Sandy is now expected to blow ashore in New Jersey or Delaware by this evening -- hours sooner than previously expected.
The storm has picked up some forward speed. It's already washed away a part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. And it's threatening to cripple Wall Street and New York's subway system with a huge surge of seawater.
By midafternoon, the storm was 85 miles southeast of Atlantic City, its winds at 90 miles an hour. Forecasters warn it will combine with two other weather systems to create an epic superstorm.
From Washington to Boston, subways, buses, trains and schools are shut down. More than 7,000 flights are grounded. The New York Stock Exchange is closed. And hundreds of thousands of people are under orders to move to higher ground.
With just over a week to go before Election Day, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are suspending their campaigning. After returning to the White House from Florida, Obama urged those in harm's way to "listen to what your state and local officials are saying."
With tropical storm-force winds extending almost 500 miles from the storm's center, other major cities across the Northeast also prepared to for the worst. Maryland's governor warns that people will die in the storm.
268-a-07-(Tiffany Streberger, Red Bank, New Jersey resident who wanted to see the rough ocean, in AP interview)-"it's too late"-Tiffany Streberger in Red Bank, New Jersey, wanted to take some pictures of the huge waves. (29 Oct 2012)
269-c-09-(Katie Zezima (ZEH'-zih-mah), AP correspondent)-"recycling bins everywhere"-AP correspondent Katie Zezima describes how things are getting worse in Atlantic City. (29 Oct 2012)
271-a-12-(Michael Dornblum (DORN'-bluhm), partner, Dwelling furniture store, in AP interview)-"pretty bad things"-Michael Dornblum of the Dwelling furniture store in Philadelphia says he can't remember a storm this bad. (29 Oct 2012)
GRAPHICSBANK: Man walks through flood waters from Hurricane Sandy surrounding Bubba's restaurant, Virginia Beach, Virginia, on texture, partial graphic (29 Oct 2012)
GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama headshot, as US President, speaks about Hurricane Sandy, Washington, DC, graphic element on gray (29 Oct 2012)
GRAPHICSBANK: Water from storm surge caused by approach of Hurricane Sandy, Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Connecticut, graphic element on black (29 Oct 2012)
APPHOTO VANOV306: James Hickling, and his son Noah, 10, jump away from the over wash in the Chic's Beach section of Virginia Beach, Va, on Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2012, as the effects of Hurricane Sandy lash the coast. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Vicki Cronis-Nohe) (29 Oct 2012)
APPHOTO DEWIL104: Bowers Beach, Del. resident ride their bikes to get a first hand look at Hurricane Sandy as they roll through the flooded street on Savannah Road in Bowers Beach, Del., where winds begin to increase as Superstorm Sandy hits Delaware Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/The Wilmington News-Journal, Suchat Pederson) (29 Oct 2012)
APPHOTO NYJD102: Residents look down a flooded street as Hurricane Sandy approaches, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Mastic Beach, N.Y. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) (29 Oct 2012)
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