Hurricane Sandy: Keeping tabs online

Whether you're in the path of the storm or just watching with interest from afar, here are some ways to monitor Sandy and its effects.

Hurricane Sandy
At midday on Sunday, the eye of Hurricane Sandy was still offshore, but clouds from the storm system were already enveloping much of the U.S. East Coast. NASA GOES Project

Grocery store shelves have been cleaned out, generators have been fueled up, and cell phone chargers are surely already running hot -- there's a massive hurricane coming to town.

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the mid-Atlantic region amid all the usual warnings of potential power outages, flooding, damage to property, and other disruptions to business operations and the day-to-day lives of millions of people. Residents up and down the U.S. East Coast are bracing to be pummeled and hoping that it all turns out to be more bluster than actual damage.

In anticipation of the Category 1 hurricane, the cancellation notices are mounting up -- including a notification just a few minutes ago from the school system in my own suburb 30 miles inland from Boston. But it's places right along the coast like New York City that could be hit hardest by Sandy. Already, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered the evacuation of some of the more vulnerable parts of the urban area, including Battery Park City and parts of the Lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan, while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that it will start shutting down subway service at 7 p.m. ET.

Google Interactive "Sandy" Crisis Map

That's had a direct impact on the tech sector. Google has cancelled a major press event -- at which it was expected to show off the latest Nexus tablets and smartphones -- that it had scheduled for Monday morning at a Manhattan waterfront pier that's in the evacuation zone. AllThingsD, meanwhile, has postponed the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in New York City that had been planned for Monday and Tuesday.

Whether you're in the path of the storm or just watching with interest from afar, here are some ways to keep tabs on Sandy via the Internet:

National Weather Service The federal agency's National Hurricane Center provides weather advisories; video briefings; satellite and radar imagery; and more.

Google.org Crisis Response You can manipulate the map to find storm tracking and forecasts; evacuation routes; emergency shelters; and other information.

Weather.com The weather specialist offers maps, forecasts, and an interactive storm tracker.

Weather Underground Maps, computer models, and a section called "Extreme Weather Preparedness."

FEMA Hurricane safety tips and other information.

Android apps Including Hurricane Hound and HurricaneSoftware.

iOS apps Including Hurricane and Hurricane Tracker HD.

Air, train, transit disruptions from Sandy Updated news story with links to the FAA's flight delay information and to Amtrak's Northeast travel advisories.

East Coast Webcams The folks at Quartz.com have compiled a nifty list of Webcams, at sites including Coney Island, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Cape May, and Virginia Beach.

Wind Map This art project from Hint.FM brings data to life. Very cool.

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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