NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City is closing schools and ordering some residents in low-lying areas to leave as forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is roaring northeastward on an offshore track parallel to the Southeast coast off the Carolinas.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sandy will continue moving parallel to the Southeast coast most of the day and approach the coast of the mid-Atlantic states by Monday night.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday that closed the 1.1 million-student New York City school system will be closed Monday. The closing follows the suspension of the city's transit system.
He also ordered the evacuation of part of lower Manhattan and the Rockaways, a low-lying area of Queens.
At 5 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sandy was centered about 260 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. The vast storm system was packing 75-mph sustained winds and little change in strength in the large and powerful storm was expected in coming days.
Forecasters say tropical storm conditions are spreading over North Carolina's coastline and gale-force winds should begin being felt along portions of the mid-Atlantic coast later Sunday with higher winds likely after that.
Rainfall is expected to start late Sunday or early Monday in New York. Hurricane Sandy is headed north from the Caribbean to meet a winter storm and a cold front. Experts say the rare hybrid storm that results will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.
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