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East Coast Prepares For Approach Of Megastorm

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(AP) _Up and down the East Coast, residents are stocking up on supplies and utilities are lining up extra crews in preparation for a monster storm barreling north from the Caribbean.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall early Tuesday near the Delaware coast. It’s forecast to collide with two winter weather systems as it moves inland, creating a hybrid monster storm that could bring nearly a foot of rain, high winds and up to 2 feet of snow.

More coverage: Missouri Volunteers Ready To Help Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

Experts say the storm could be stronger than Hurricane Irene and hit many of the same places as the devastating storm last year.

Huricane Sandy #Frankenstorm Tracked On Twitter, Instagram

In Bloomsburg, Pa., Heather Peters and her husband bought a kerosene heater, 12 gallons of water, paper plates, batteries, flashlights and a lantern. She says, “I’m not screwing around this time.”

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that a Hurricane Hunter aircraft found Sandy had sustained winds powerful enough to upgrade it to a Category 1 hurricane. It had been downgraded to a tropical storm just hours earlier.

Regardless of its official category, Sandy is expected to be a monstrous storm that poses a serious threat for the entire Eastern Seaboard.

Forecasters say Sandy is a massive cyclone, with hurricane-force winds recorded as far as 100 miles away from the eye of the storm.

Tropical storm conditions could be felt in the Carolinas by Saturday evening.

Track the storm: Interactive Map – Track Hurricane Sandy

The White House says President Barack Obama had a conference call Saturday to discuss Hurricane Sandy with the Homeland Security secretary, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the director of the National Hurricane Center and his homeland security adviser.

With neither side wanting to risk the appearance of putting politics ahead of public safety, the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns are adjusting travel schedules and canceling events as Hurricane Sandy approaches the East Coast and some battleground states.

Vice President Joe Biden canceled a rally today in coastal Virginia Beach, Va., and Mitt Romney did the same with an event that had been set for tomorrow.