msnbc | October 27, 2012
>>> storm sandy is chugging out of the bahamas. it is heading right toward the u.s. coast. people along the seaboard are preparing for the storm's high winds and the severe storm surge . sandy could strengthen back into a hurricane before making landfall, and weather channel meteorologist julie martin is live in nags head , north carolina for us. julie, good morning. you know, i hate saying that it's been downgraded because i know this thing in all likelihood will come back up to full speed, right? and you're seeing the first effects right now there.
>> yeah, alex, it doesn't really matter that much. because, right now, what we're dealing with is a very large system, with a large wind field. so it's if a tropical storm , if it's a hurricane, it doesn't really matter. all that much at this point, because that wind field is so large, the effects are going to be so widespread, and millions of people, potentially, impacted by sandy as it makes its way up the coast. just to give you some perspective, i'm in nags head , north carolina . the center of this system is still about 500 miles to my south, well off the coast of florida, and we're already seeing winds that are in the 20s, and a sea that is looking pretty angry, as well. just take a look out there. we're right near this fishing pier . part of this was washed away during hurricane isabel back in 2003 . there's a big beach renourishment project that they spent here, $30 million, they're waiting to see if sandy washes those tax dollars away, as well. one of the things here in the carolinas will be the fact that we have onshore winds for a long period of time. we're going to be seeing rain later today. deteriorating conditions overnight, as sandy makes its way up the coast toward you. and then, persistent onshore winds will be bringing coastal flooding, power outages, and the like. just to give you some perspective, last year, during irene, large sections of roads were washed away here in north carolina . power was knocked out to about half a million people, and seven people died. so, even -- and that was a low-end storm. i wouldn't really read in to much to the fact that this is a tropical storm or a low-end hurricane. either way the effects are going to be devastating and now is the time when people really do need to prepare, alex.
>> i'm glad you're putting that reminder out there. it's absolutely true. just because it says tropical storm right now, don't let your guard down. julie martin , thanks for watching things for us from north carolina .