Hurricane Sandy knocks Americans out of power

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Hurricane Sandy has already knocked hundreds of thousands of residents across the Eastern Coast out of power even hours before it is going to make landfall, the U.S. Department of Energy reported on Monday.

As of 2 p.m. EDT, the impacted states in a stretching area from North Carolina up to New Hampshire reported a total of 316,500 power company customers without power, including 105,089 in New York and 87,649 in New Jersey.

"This is going to be a big and powerful storm and all across the Eastern Seaboard I think everybody is taking the appropriate preparations," said Obama earlier on Monday noon during a televised White House statement.

Obama also said a lot of power outages can be expected in the affected areas and urged people to be prepared for the fact that it will take a long time to clear up after the storm due to its nature of slow moving and wide swath.

Speaking on CNN's State of Union on Sunday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell said the state had learned lessons from the last storm which left many local residents without power for days, and already got about 2,000 additional people this time to help with the state's power supply.

As of 5 p.m. EDT, the National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Sandy was moving quickly toward southern New Jersey and anticipated it to make landfall early this evening with life- threatening storm surge and hurricane force winds.

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