Hurricane Sandy could merge with a winter storm to create what they have dubbed “Frankenstorm” as it churns towards the US, forecasters warn.
Sandy has weakened to a category one hurricane, but is still packing maximum sustained winds of 75mph (120km/h).
The storm is projected to hit the US late on Monday, a week before the election.
Sandy reportedly caused up to 40 deaths as it tore through the Caribbean on Thursday.
At 20:00 EDT (00:00 GMT), the hurricane was moving north at about 7mph, some 75 miles north-east off Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Schools, offices, airports and bridges closed across the Bahamas as residents stocked up on supplies. Power outages were reported throughout the island nation.
Meteorologists expect a combination of high winds, heavy rain and extreme tides, as well as snow in some areas.
Up to 10in (25cm) of rain, 2ft of snow and extreme storm surges are forecast.
“It’s going to be a long-lasting event, two to three days of impact for a lot of people,” said James Franklin, head forecaster at the National Hurricane Center.
Sandy is expected to strike the US late on Monday or early Tuesday somewhere along the US east coast, a day before Halloween and a week before millions of Americans go to the polls to choose a next president.
It could make landfall anywhere between Virginia, Maryland or Delaware up through New York or southern New England. …