UPDATE, 6 p.m. MT: Severe weather event Sandy made landfall along the coast of southern New Jersey, the National Hurricane Center said Monday evening. Even though it has sustained winds of 80 mph, Sandy is no longer considered a hurricane. The center said it reclassified the storm because "Sandy has continued to lose tropical characteristics." More than 2.2 million customers are without power in 11 states and the District of Columbia, according to data from utility companies.
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NEW YORK (AP) — Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities this morning, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall.
Sandy strengthened before dawn and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York — putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential for havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. About 2 to 3 feet of snow were even forecast for mountainous parts of West Virginia.
The tempest could endanger up to 50 million people for days. It has grounded thousands of flights across the country, threatening to bring a near halt to air travel for at least two days in a key region for both domestic and international flights.
View Red Cross locations in Hurricane Sandy pathway in a larger map
Hurricane affecting presidential political campaign
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A strengthening Hurricane Sandy disrupted the campaign for the White House Monday, with President Obama canceling his political rallies and rushing back to the White House from battleground Florida to monitor the storm and get Air Force One safely back to Washington.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney was campaigning in the Midwest out of the storm's path Monday, but called off events scheduled in Virginia Sunday and New Hampshire Tuesday.
Heavy snow expected in W.Va.2 comments on this story
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Forecasters say as much as 3 feet of snow is now possible along the highest ridge tops of West Virginia. The National Weather Service on Monday updated its previous forecast, which had said up to 2 feet of snow was possible.
Storm grounds about 60 flights from Denver
DENVER (AP) — About 60 flights from Denver to the East Coast are being canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. Airport officials said Monday the canceled flights are among 1,700 arrivals and departures the airport handles every day.