Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Obama warns as hurricane closes in

Stormy conditions hit the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey as Hurricane Sandy nears (AP)
Stormy conditions hit the Atlantic City Boardwalk in New Jersey as Hurricane Sandy nears (AP)
A couple posing for a picture get hit by a wave in Hampton, New Hampshiire, from the effects of Hurricane Sandy (AP)
A public shelter in Manhattan's lower east side begins to fill up ahead of the storm's arrival (AP)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A man walks on the beach ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A seagull flies over breaking waves ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: Only a few bread items remain on the shelves at the Waldbaums grocery store as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
FAIRFIELD, NY - OCTOBER 28: Windsurfers take advantage of the weather as the first signs of Hurricane Sandy approach on October 28, 2012 in Fairfield, Connecticut. The storm, which could affect tens of millions of people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow in parts of Ohio and West Virginia. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City will close its bus, subway and commuter rail service Sunday evening ahead of the storm. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
AT SEA - OCTOBER 28: In this handout acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 06:42 UTC, churns off the east coast as it moves north on October 28, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean. The storm was captured by a special "day-night band," which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as auroras, airglow, gas flares, city lights, and reflected moonlight. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
AT SEA - OCTOBER 28: In this handout GOES satellite image provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 16:00 UTC, churns off the East Coast as it moves north on October 28, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: People wait to be evacuated by bus from the Atlantic City Convention Center ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: People wait to be evacuated by bus from the Atlantic City Convention Center ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: People wait to be evacuated by bus from the Atlantic City Convention Center ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man surfs as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. The storm, which could affect tens of millions of people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow in parts of Ohio and West Virginia. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City will close its bus, subway and commuter rail service Sunday evening ahead of the storm. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: In this handout provided by the NYC Mayor's Office, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) updates residents on preparations during a press conference prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. The MTA has announced that at 7:00 PM EST they plan an orderly shutdown and suspension of all subway, bus and commuter railroad service in reponse to the storm. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by NYC Mayors Office via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man boards up his business as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: People secure the power line to a home as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A New York City police officer speaks to a woman as he goes door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A New York City police officer goes door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
CAPE MAY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: People stand on the beach watching the heavy surf caused by the approaching Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Cape May, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the New Jersey coastline sometime on Monday bringing heavy winds and floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: People sit along the Long Beach boardwalk as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy,which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: TV crews set up along the Long Beach boardwalk as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy,which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A woman walks through the New York subway prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. New York plans on shutting down the entire public transmit system starting at 7PM, Sunday night. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Cots are seen at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to members of the media at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Mark Palazzolo, owner of a bait and tackle shop on the Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., sits next to wood he has used to board up his business in previous major storms, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Of Hurricane Sandy, he said, "I think this is going to do us in." (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
President Barack Obama, center, speaks during a briefing at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, at right, in Washington, on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. FEMA is coordinating the deployment of federal resources in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AT SEA - OCTOBER 28: In this handout satellite image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 00:15 UTC, churns off the east coast on October 28, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean. Sandy which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Sand blows on the beach ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Waves break ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Waves break on the beach ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Rain falls on a nearly deserted road ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man is helped off a bus while arriving at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Mary McSweeney, who is staying at the evacuation center stationed inside Seward Park High School, has a cigarette prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Mark Clemente and Mary McSweeney kiss before going back inside Seward Park High School, which is doubling as a hurricane evacuation center, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Mark Clemente, who is staying at the evacuation center stationed inside Seward Park High School, has a cigarette prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A woman arrives at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A woman and child leave Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man is helped up the stairs at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man arrives at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center for Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in New York City. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A sign announcing the temporary closure of the New York subway system, due to Hurricane Sandy, is seen in the subway prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. New York plans on shutting down the entire public transmit system starting at 7PM, Sunday night. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A sign announcing the temporary closure of the New York subway system, due to Hurricane Sandy, is seen in the subway prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City. New York plans on shutting down the entire public transmit system starting at 7PM, Sunday night. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: Long Beach police patrol the boardwalk as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy,which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: Long Beach police patrol the boardwalk as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy,which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
HICKSVILLE, NY - OCTOBER 28: With Hurricane Sandy approaching, the Long Island Railroad announced the suspension of their service at 7pm on Sunday night, October 28, 2012 in Hicksville, New York. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers speak with a woman as they go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers speak to a man as they go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City police officers speak with women as they go door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: A New York City police officer speaks to a man as he goes door to door in a housing project to take note of which residents are ignoring the mandatory evacuation order as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to members of the media at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to members of the media at Seward Park High School, which is doubling as an evacuation center, in preparation for Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in New York City Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A man walks on the boardwalk ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A man walks past boarded up structures on the boardwalk ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A man walks on the boardwalk ahead of Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris ChristieÄôs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityÄôs casinos and 30,000 residents are being told to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, NY - OCTOBER 28: A man surfs as Hurrican Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in Long Beach, New York. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and flooding to the mid-atlantic region. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
OCEAN CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Ed Wicks secures plywood over the windows of a hair salon to protect from the high winds of approaching Hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Ocean City, New Jersey. New Jersey is expected to be hit hard by approaching storm sometime on Monday, bringing heavy winds and floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: Bridget Donnelly walks on a sandbag wall outside her home as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement after a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement after a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: People board up their business as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 28: People secure the power line to a home as Hurricane Sandy approaches on October 28, 2012 in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a mandatory evacuation on low-lying coastal areas of the city. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement after a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama talks to workers after a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama talks to workers after a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28: (AFP-OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a briefing on Hurricane Sandy at FEMA Headquarters on October 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean, is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters as the mid-atlantic region prepares for the damage. (Photo by Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images)
WILDWOOD, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Workers secure a store front to help minimize wind damage from approaching hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Wildwood, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the New Jersey coastline sometime on Monday bringing heavy winds and floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
CAPE MAY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: A loader surfer takes advantage of the heavy surf caused by the approaching hurricane Sandy, on October 28, 2012 in Cape May, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy is expected to hit the New Jersey coastline sometime on Monday bringing heavy winds and floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama has urged people on America's east coast to take heed of warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Sandy's arrival tonight to avoid "potentially fatal consequences".

Mr Obama, who spoke before Boston joined the list of major east coast cities shutting down transit agencies because of Hurricane Sandy, said the "big and powerful storm" was expected to make landfall on Tuesday evening.

The president said millions of people would be affected and that authorities were working to provide food, water and emergency power. But the clean-up could take some time, he said.

He added: "This is going to be a big storm, it's going to be a difficult storm. The great thing about America is when we go through tough times like this we all pull together, we look out for our friends, we look out for our neighbours and we set aside whatever issues we may have otherwise, to make sure that we respond appropriately and with swiftness. And that is exactly what I anticipate is going to happen here.

"I'm confident that we're ready, but I think the public needs to prepare for the fact that this is going to take a long time for us to clean up. The good news is we will clean up and we will get through this."

Asked if he was concerned about the effect on next week's presidential election, Mr Obama said he was more worried about the impact on families, emergency services, the economy and transportation.

Millions of people stockpiled supplies as the hurricane bore down on the US East Coast, threatening to bring an 11ft (3.4-metre) storm surge to New York.

Two people also remain missing after a crew of 16 on a tall ship - HMS Bounty, which has appeared in films including Pirates Of The Caribbean - were forced to abandon the vessel when it was left stranded around 90 miles (145km) offshore. Helicopters rescued 14 of the crew from life rafts but were still searching for the remaining two.

The replica of the famous vessel was built for the film Mutiny On The Bounty and has appeared in documentaries and films, including Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Thousands of Britons' travel plans were wrecked as flights were axed, while transport networks in the US were also shut down.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz