HUNTER residents are among millions in the US battening down the hatches to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to reach America’s east coast today.
For live coverage of the storm, click here.
Dean Bertsos, from Merewether, is bunkering down in the Chelsea district of New York with former Novocastrians Jake and Fiona Denney.
He said the city had ‘‘an eerie feeling about it’’.
‘‘Sandy is meant to hit [Monday in the US] and we are all just sitting around waiting to see how bad it gets,’’ Mr Bertsos said.
‘‘I’ve been here four times and never seen the place so dead. The shops have been packed all day with people loading up on water and the bare essentials.
‘‘Other than the chaos in the shops everyone has disappeared from the streets.’’
Mr Bertsos said the city was ‘‘peaceful, sort of like the calm before the storm’’.
New York and other big cities have shut down their transport systems, and flights have been cancelled.
People are preparing for winds up to 130 kilometres an hour, and expected power outages.
Kirra Loh from Raymond Terrace moved to New York to work earlier this year, said she had bought food and water to prepare.
‘‘Schools are also shut, people were going crazy at the supermarket, stores were taping their windows up and I saw neighbors covering their cars up,’’ Ms Loh said.
‘‘There was an eerie silence tonight and it was really windy so it definitely feels like something is coming.’’
Ms Loh said subway closures were inconvenient.
‘‘I’m not working in the city until Tuesday, but I won’t be able to get there from my apartment in Queens because the subways are expected to be closed until Wednesday.’’