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Meteorologists say Sandy is a rare, hybrid “super storm” created by an Arctic jet stream wrapping itself around a tropical storm.
The combination of those two storms would have been bad enough, but meteorologists said there was a third storm at play - a system coming down from Canada that would effectively trap the hurricane-nor’easter combo and hold it in place.
While Sandy does not have the intensity of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, it has been gathering strength. It killed 66 people in the Caribbean last week before pounding U.S. coastal areas as it moved north.
An AccuWeather meteorologist said Sandy “is unfolding as the Northeast’s Katrina.”
Forecasters said Sandy could be the largest storm to hit the mainland in U.S. history.
Off North Carolina, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 of the 16 crew members who abandoned the replica tall ship HMS Bounty, using helicopters to lift them from life rafts. The Coast Guard later recovered the body of an “unresponsive” 42-year-old woman while continuing to search for the 63-year-old captain of the ship, which sank in 18-foot (5.5 meters) seas.
The crew of the three-mast, 180-foot (55-meter) Bounty took to life rafts about 90 miles (145 km) southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina when the vessel began to take on water about 160 miles (260 km) from the storm’s eye.