Canadian officials have urged Canadians living in the path of Hurricane Sandy to be prepared. The powerful storm, the impact which is already felt in the US northeast, is expected to track north after slamming into the New Jersey shore inland to Pennsylvania and then through New York north of the Great Lakes. The storm will merge with an arctic weather system, which is stagnant in a north south direction.
Canadians have been warned by officials to be prepared for at least 72 hours without power and forecasters say that sustained winds could reach up to 90 kmh (55 mph) and 50 mm (2 inches) of rain. The storm could arrive in Ontario as early as tonight and cause havoc for several days.
Environment Canada has posted wind warnings for much of southern Ontario, eastern and Western Quebec, along the St. Lawrence River and as far reaching as Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.
"Southern Ontario, southern Quebec and southwestern Maritimes will experience high wind gusts and periods of heavy rain beginning later today and continuing into Tuesday."
Those living along the shores of the Great Lakes will experience a double whammy. The high winds will cause some wave pounding on the shore lines and could result in some flooding.
Wind gusts of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) are expected along coastal areas in Nova Scotia and slightly lower winds north and east, according to Environment Canada.
Emergency measures organizations in the affected provinces have made necessary preparations and warned the public of possible effects of this prolonged storm.
"Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours in an emergency. By taking some time now to store emergency food, water and other supplies, you can provide for your entire family during a power outage or evacuation," said Mike Morton, Canadian Red Cross Director of Disaster Management Ontario.
Canadian air carriers have all issued statements that flights to the US northeast have or will be canceled. Hundreds of flights have already been canceled.
While the impact of the storm will have less impact in the Canadian provinces, the public should heed the cautions issued by Environment Canada and provincial emergency measures organizations. This is particularly important along the shores of the Great Lakes.
As predicted by the National Hurricane Centre, the left hook of Sandy towards the US North East has occurred at approximately 9 am EDT.