NEW YORK — City officials are bracing for "Frankenstorm."
Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled Cuba, the Bahamas and Jamaica, could be headed for the city, bringing a torrent of heavy rain, wind and even snow as soon as Sunday, officials warned.
"There will be a lot of rain along the whole East Coast," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking to reporters Thursday morning after getting a flu shot.
He warned that the storm has the potential to create “real weird weather, like snow, or a lot of rain," as well as a potential evacuation of low-lying areas — but he said the city is already in preparation mode.
Media outlets and forecasters have dubbed the hurricane "Frankenstorm."
In addition to coordinating with the state, he said the Office of Emergency Management's situation room is open and that the city's emergency coastal storm plan was activated Wednesday morning.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to "closely monitor" the storm's progress and prepare for potential storm impacts, the governor's office said.
“There’s no reason to panic. We're going to do what we have to do," he said.
He added that the city doesn't expect the storm to cause nearly as much damage as Hurricane Irene, which sent tree limbs crashing and flooded streets, and led to the first widespread evacuation of low-lying areas in the city's history, in addition to a subway shut-down.
“We don't expect anything like that,” Bloomberg said. “We don't know when, or if, or where the storm’s going to hit."
Still, he advised New Yorkers to make sure they have "go bags" with emergency belongings at the ready, and to monitor the news over the weekend for any updates.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said that, while a "perfect storm" is possible, multiple components would have to come together for that to happen.
“The realm of possibilities continues to range from Sandy escaping out to sea, with nothing more than blustery, much-cooler air sweeping in, to a dynamic storm turning inland packing coastal flooding, flooding rainfall, high winds, downed trees, power outages, travel mayhem and even Appalachian snow,” he wrote.