Check Patch's Hurricane Sandy Section for the most recent information.
It is now believed by forecasters that Hurricane Sandy will make landfall sooner than anticipated, as the center of the storm is expected to touch down along or just south of the Southern New Jersey coast by early Monday evening.
"In addition to long periods of sustained tropical storm-force winds, the storm will produce historic surge levels along the coast," reported the National Weather Service in its 2 p.m. public advisory.
Hurricane-force winds are expected in areas including New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office reported gale force winds have commenced, with sustained winds of 30+ mph already seen across the city. This will increase to 40-55 mph sustained winds into the evening with peak gusts of 70-80 mph.
The highest storm surges will coincide with high tidetonight and surges are expected to continue into Tuesday, officials say. Substantial flooding is expected to accompany these surges.
Flooding has already been seen throughout low-lying areas of Brooklyn including Red Hook, Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Williamsburg. Officials also report flooding at the Battery, in the Rockaways, and on the FDR Drive.
Stay tuned for more updates.