As Hurricane Sandy picks up strength before it is expected to hit the east coast of the United States on Monday night, the weather is also causing disruption to the presidential election campaign.
Both Republican challenger Mitt Romney and US President Barack Obama and have been forced to cancel some events, with Obama warning the public to be on their guard.
“This is a serious and big storm and my first message is to all the people across the eastern seaboard, mid-Atlantic, going north, that you need to take this very seriously,” said Obama.
Sixty-six people across the Caribbean have been killed by Hurricane Sandy, and now Atlantic City in New Jersey is bracing itself. Across the state, public transport has been shut down, low lying areas have been evacuated and schools are closed.
Braving the ferocious winds, New Jersey resident Louise Germanario said: “Yeah, I’m far enough away from the water. I don’t think I’m going to have a problem. I don’t like the wind, but what are you going to do?”
Gusts of 140 kilometres per hour have been measured 615 kilometres away from New York City.
Tiffany Sobers, who lives in New York, was concerned about the closures to public transport:
“I think it’s ridiculous. New York City is the melting pot of people just going to work and trying to make a living and we can’t even get around publicly.”
Sandy could be the largest ever storm to hit mainland America and the President has declared emergencies in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, authorising relief work to begin in advance.