Emergency preparedness orders flooded the Northeast on Thursday as cities and states with a massive portion of the American population and centers of both its government and financial industry braced for a storm that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie warned could be as bad as Superstorm Sandy.
That storm, just a few weeks shy of three years ago, hit large sections of the Atlantic seaboard, killing nearly 300.
Now it’s Joaquin, which surged from a Category 2 storm on Wednesday to a Category 4 on Thursday and now is projected to hit the area that includes both Washington, D.C., and New York City early Monday.
The National Hurricane Center already is warning of “extreme” danger from sustained winds of nearly 130 miles an hour.
As it crossed the Bahamas as a Class 3, the storm scattered cruise vessels, and in advance of its arrival, events such as biplane shows, football games, zombie fests and chili cook-offs were canceled across the Northeast.
WND reported William Koenig, author of the 2004 book “Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel,” which documented the concurrence of punishing hurricanes when the U.S. or the world turned against Israel, found significance in the timing of Joaquin.
On Wednesday, the United Nations raised the Palestinian flag for the first time, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced Palestinians will no longer abide by the Oslo Accords.
Mike Smith, a senior vice president at Accuweather, made the pending danger simple to understand: “There is going to be catastrophic flooding from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and this is going to disrupt the economy regardless of whether or not Hurricane Joaquin makes landfall.”
He warned that people “from the Carolinas to New Jersey, the New York City area, Cape Cod and as far inland as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia should keep a close eye on Joaquin.”
The New York Times said North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory ordered state agencies to prepare for flooding, anticipating rain totals of up to 20 inches.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also have declared a state of emergency.
South Carolina’s emergency management division was distributing hurricane guides.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the forecasts from the National Hurricane Center,” Director Kim Stenson said. “We are preparing for the possibility that this storm could affect South Carolina, we’re asking residents to do the same.”
The Delaware Emergency Management Agency was watching developments, the Times reported.
Richard Flinn Jr., the chief of Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Agency, said, “We are several days away from any impact from Hurricane Joaquin, but we’re expecting more rain this weekend so if you live in a flood-prone area, get ready.”
Maryland also was getting mobilized, officials said.
ABC reported the entire state of New Jersey was under one flood advisory or another.
And the report said AccuWeather was looking at the possibility of another storm developing immediately on the heels of Joaquin.
The New York Times noted the path of the storm may change, a statement supported by the National Hurricane Center.
In a statement, the center said, “The range of possible outcomes is still large.”
Koenig, as WND reported Thursday, noted the storm “became Hurricane Joaquin as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was preparing to host a U.N. Security Council meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, as the issue took center stage at the U.N. ahead of a Palestine flag-raising and speech by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to the United Nations General Assembly calling for Palestine to be established.”
He pointed out the name, Joaquin, in Hebrew has the literal meaning “lifted by Yahweh” or “established by Yahweh,” Koenig said.
Jehoiakim was one of the last kings of Judah in the Old Testament.
Koenig said that in researching for his book, he found that “when the U.S. or another nation applies pressure on Israel to divide its covenant land, given by God to Abraham and his descendants, there are enormous record-setting storms and/or events that correspond.”
To name a few examples: The Perfect Storm, the terror events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and 85 other record-setting events since the Madrid “land for peace” Conference convened in late October 1991.
Time warned that even if the hurricane turns and doesn’t make landfall, the U.S. still could be hit with heavy rain and flooding.
NBC reported out of Washington that some store shelves already were empty on Thursday as residents stocked up on supplies.
GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump canceled a Virginia Beach rally.