(NaturalNews) Monster Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the South Jersey coast, as forecasters had predicted, on Monday evening with gale-force winds of 90 miles per hour and bringing with it the promise of "historic" damage that could lead to scores of unprepared Americans "fighting in the streets" for basic goods like food, gasoline and fresh water, local residents are warning.
As the so-called perfect storm
slams the upper Northeast United States, the National Weather Service issued a dire warning: "Sandy expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and coastal hurricane winds plus heavy Appalachian snows."CBS 3
meteorologist Katie Fehlinger in Philadelphia - which is expected to get hit with heavy rains - tweeted, "This storm is HISTORIC!"
Louis Uccellini of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said of Sandy, "This is the worst-case scenario."
Meanwhile, further south in Maryland, Gov. Martin O'Malley cautioned, "The days ahead are going to be very difficult. There will be people who die and are killed in this storm
He's not the only one who thinks people are going to die, albeit, perhaps, for different reasons.'It'll be the aftermath!'
Mark Palazzolo, who boarded up his bait-and-tackle shop in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., with the same wood he used in past storms, told CBS 3
, "I got a call from a friend of mine from Florida last night who said, 'Mark, get out! If it's not the storm, it'll be the aftermath. People are going to be fighting in the streets over gasoline and food.
"I think this one's going to do us in," he added.
The potential for gargantuan disaster is growing by the hour. Officials all up and down the East Coast say they are expecting destruction - and perhaps even death - of epic proportions.
"We've never seen anything like it," officials in Ocean City, N.J., told another local CBS
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used his usual candor and flair to warn state residents to take evacuation warnings seriously.
"I read some joker in the newspaper...saying he's never run away from one of these [storms]. Well, you might end up under it...this is not a time to be stupid," he told reporters.
At the White House and in gubernatorial state houses all up and down the Atlantic coast, the president and state leaders were calling in resources and calling up National Guard troops. By midday Monday, sources told Natural News
, some 60,000 Guard troops had been placed on duty or on alert.Looters, rapists, chaos
"Please listen to what your state and local officials are saying. When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate. Don't delay, don't pause, don't question the instructions that are being given, because this is a powerful storm," President Obama said from Washington, D.C., where he has temporarily suspended his reelection campaign to deal with the coming crisis. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has also suspended his campaign.
According to CBS
, "Obama declared emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, authorizing federal relief work to begin well ahead of time."
Battalions of Guard troops, along with thousands of local police and federal agencies, may wind up having to deal with potentially millions of Americans who either chose not
to prepare for the storm's arrival or did not prepare adequately.
Granted, before Hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans - despite being a metropolitan city of about a half-million people
- was much poorer than many of the areas of the Northeast that in Sandy's path. But the fact is, destruction is destruction, and within days of being leveled by Katrina, large swaths of New Orleans devolved into miniature war zones. Inadequate numbers of police and Guard personnel left dozens of square blocks in control of gangs and other low-level criminal enterprises.
The chaos manifested itself in looting; "looters floated garbage cans filled with clothing and jewelry down the street in a dash to grab what they could," The Associated Press
reported at the time.
"It's downtown Baghdad," Denise Bollinger, a tourist from Philadelphia, who stood outside taking pictures of the societal breakdown, said. "It's insane. I've wanted to come here for 10 years. I thought this was a sophisticated city. I guess not."'Don't be stupid. Get out.
There were shootings. There were gang rapes. There was other violence.
Most of it came from the "usual suspects."
"What you had was a situation where you've got a tremendous number of vulnerable people, and then some predatory people who had all of the reasons to take their anger out on someone else," Judy Benitez, director of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, a statewide coalition of rape crisis centers, told National Public Radio
in the days following Katrina.
But what will transpire when bad things happen to good - though unprepared - people?
Depending on the damage, it's going to be days - or possibly weeks, in some cases - before electricity is restored. It will take hours and days to get supplies to hungry, thirty people.
Tempers will flare. Impatience will grow. The chaos could grow in proportion to the frustration.
Gov. Christie was blunt: "Don't be stupid. Get out."
It's already too late for some people.
Photo credit: Daniel Case