Hurricane Sandy has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but forecasters say it is still a highly menacing threat to the eastern shores of the US.
Coastal states have declared emergencies and residents are being urged to stock up on food, water and batteries in case the super-storm develops as predicted.
In Norfolk, Virginia all navy ships, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, were ordered to ride out the storm at sea.
At Long Beach they filled sand bags, and New York’s mayor warned that the city should prepare themselves.
Michael Bloomberg said: “Whenever or whatever or wherever this storm comes ashore however our city is very likely to feel its affects in the form of high tides, high winds and heavy rainfall lasting for several days. There’s the possibility of parts of our city flooding or high winds that could force certain bridges to be closed.”
As a hurricane, Sandy brought destruction to the Caribbean, leading to at least 41 deaths as it battered Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas.
Now less than 600 kilometres south east of Charleston in South Carolina, the system is forecast to strike the United States early next week.