Hurricane’s winds strengthen to 90 mph;

Power already out to 10,000 in NYC, Long Island

Hurricane Sandy’s winds picked up speed today as the storm made a left turn toward the East Coast, and some areas were already seeing flooding with waves and high tide combining to force water inland.

Sandy, a monster storm as large as any to ever threaten the U.S., had maximum sustained winds of about 90 miles per hour and was 260 miles southeast of New York City at 11 a.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm’s wind speed has increased 15 mph over the past 12 hours.

The center of the storm was forecast to make landfall Monday night, likely in central or southern New Jersey, bringing a storm surge as high as 11 feet to towns and cities from Delaware through Connecticut.

It’s the worst possible time for this storm, moreso due to the rain waters coming ashore during a full moon, which could lead to record flooding.

“This will be worse than Irene” last year in terms of storm surge, he said from Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., where the waves Monday morning were nearly over the top of the dunes protecting homes.

Forecasters said the super-storm could also bring close to a foot of rain in some regions, a potentially lethal storm surge across much of the coastline, and punishing winds that could cause widespread power outages that last for days.

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 175 miles from the storm’s center on Monday.

The storm could also dump up to 2 feet of snow in Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia.

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