Hurricane Sandy has already caused several deaths in the Caribbean (see live updates below), and some meteorologists have expressed a growing worry that the winter storm hybrid may pose a "serious threat" to states like New York, Delaware and Maine come next week.
"The Perfect Storm only did $200 million of damage and I'm thinking a billion," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private service Weather Underground, according to the Associated Press. "Yeah, it will be worse."
Residents of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic "should remain vigilant and be prepared to take action in the next few days," writes Weather.com.
Map Of Hurricane Sandy's Path (Story Continues Below):
David Bernard, chief meteorologist for CBS News' Miami affiliate, CBS 4, said that the East Coast could be battered by heavy winds and snowfall, as well as flooding:
[S]torm-force winds, coastal flooding, very heavy inland snows could be possible through parts of Appalachians into western Pennsylvania and with that heavy snow and strong winds at the coast we could be looking at significant power outages as well. So it's kind of the worst of everything coming together, winter and what the tropical season has to offer. There is still the possibility this low stays out to sea, but right now we're thinking there's a pretty good chance there could be some impact.
The worst-case scenario, he said, would be if the storm "sits off the coast and then backs from the ocean into land," like the 1991 "Perfect Storm."