Hurricane Sandy, which was tracking north at about 18 mph and carrying 105-mph winds on Thursday morning, is expected to approach the Rhode Island area early next week, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters at the NWS issued a hazardous weather warning just before 6 am, anticipating "a close pass or a direct hit from late Monday to Tuesday."Get updates on local stories just like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Fast signup here.
The storm moved through the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica, over the past four days, and strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane late Wednesday.
According to the NWS, even if the storm remains offshore as it passes New England, it could combine with expected high tides to create a storm surge in low-lying coastal areas, and produce hurricane-strength winds, potentially posing a danger to trees and utility lines.
Locally, the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency issued the following advisories for residents to get ready for the potential storm:
- Take boats out of the water.
- Trim overgrown tree branches and shrubbery around your property.
- Clear gutters of leaves and other debris.
- Secure or bring inside any outdoor furniture, toys, or decorations.
- Clear leaves and other debris from storm drains in your neighborhood.