Update, 5:23 p.m.: Hurricane Sandy has grown.
Forecasters are now projecting the storm to reach the New Jersey shore sometime early next week and with its 1,500-mile radius and 105 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center, it could create havoc for the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
Adding to the already strong hurricane, could be a winter storm morphing into what some forecasters have deemed Frankenstorm.
The DC metro region will be affected with rain and gusty winds.
Sandy has already killed two people due to the flash flooding— one in Jamaica and one in Haiti.
Original Post, 10 a.m.: As Hurricane Sandy lashed Cuba Thursday, weather forecasters predicted its effects could hit the DC metro region by Sunday. Power companies said they were gearing up for possible outages.
The Category 2 hurricane has already killed one in Cuba and it could merge with a strong cold front in this area to create what The Washington Post's Jason Samenow called a potential "powerhouse."
Although the storm's path has not yet been confirmed, most predictions say it will travel up the southeast coast and make landfall in the mid-Atlantic.
The Post's Capital Weather Gang is suggesting the storm may slam the mid-Atlantic starting Sunday.
Pepco and Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) say they are preparing for the storm.
"We are closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy and preparing for its potential impact," Pepco said on Twitter.
Pepco spokeswoman Myra Oppel told WTOP that the company is reserving more than 400 contractors to help with any restoration needed.
BGE, which serves part of Prince George's County, also used social media to notify customers of possible service interruptions.
A spokeswoman also suggested residents prepare with the tips below.
- Stay informed – Stay aware of changing weather conditions and plan ahead. Have a battery-powered radio with a weather band so you can hear emergency information when the power is out.
- Make a plan – Discuss and document an emergency plan with those in your care. Develop a family emergency plan that includes alternative arrangements should the need arise to leave your home. Make provisions for special needs of any family member such as the elderly, handicapped, medically affected or infants. If you are dependent on electric-powered medical equipment, you are encouraged to seek alternate arrangements in the event that your electric service is interrupted.
- Make a list of emergency phone numbers and keep a personal telephone book and one corded phone or a cell phone on hand.
- Build an emergency kit – Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care. Remember supplies for children, those with special needs and pets. Keep the following items readily available.
- Flashlights – not candles
- Fresh batteries
- Battery-operated clock radio
- Corded telephone
- Fully charged cell phone
- Non-perishable foods
- Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
- First aid kit
- Local maps
Residents are also urged to stay away from power lines during the storm.