REHOBOTH BEACH, DE (CBS) -- Hurricane Sandy is barreling toward the mid-Atlantic states, shutting down cities all along the coast. The enormous storm has sustained 90 mile an hour winds and even stronger gusts.
Strong waves crashed into the shore of Delaware as hurricane sandy intensified. The national hurricane center says the massive storm has turned to the left and is expected to make landfall sometime tonight or early tomorrow around Delaware Bay and the jersey shore. Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley says, "Stay inside these next 24-36 hours are going to be times when all of us need to hunker down and shelter in place."
Hurricane force winds extend 175 miles from the center. And the storm is combining with two other weather systems to create a superstorm. Dr. Rick Knabb with the National Hurricane Center says, "You could be 200-300 miles away from the center during this event and still get some very bad weather, dangerous or even life-threatening conditions."
In Rehoboth Beach, waves already reach over the boardwalk and are headed inland. Officials warn, the stormed surge plus high winds could do major damage up and down the northeast. Resident Sandy Sommerfield says, "I've been down here 30 years and i haven't seen this as bad as it is right now."
In New Jersey, streets around the boardwalk area in Atlantic City are starting to flood. The casinos are all closed. With the storm about 800 miles wide, extensive power outages are expected. FEMA administrator Craig Fugate says, "It may be days before crews can get to some of these areas if the storm is slow moving."
Meaning Sandy may be affecting nearly 50-million people for quite some time.
The Coast Guard rescued crew members from a ship off North Carolina's coast. Sandy's surging waves forced them to abandon ship.