NEW YORK (October 29, 2012)--Hurricane Sandy was gaining strength Monday as it took a left turn toward the East Coast and its expected merger with two other weather systems.
An official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called it "the worst-case scenario."
The storm, with tropical storm-force winds extending almost 500 miles from its center, is expected to blow ashore along the New Jersey coast Monday night or early Tuesday.
Combined with high tides and a full moon, it brings the fear of a huge surge of seawater.
The combined storm is expected to affect everyone from the East Coast to the Great Lakes, with up to 3 feet of snow forecast for the West Virginia mountains.
The Coast Guard says it has rescued 14 members of the crew forced to abandon the tall ship HMS Bounty off North Carolina's Outer Banks, but was still searching for two more crew members.
Airlines canceled thousands of flights in the Northeast and air travel could come to a halt for at least two days, which has caused a ripple effect across the globe.