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A handy Web guide to tracking Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • Wind-blown mist from the Hudson River along with driving rain in West New York, N.J. fills the air as Hurricane Sandy lashes the East Coast.
Wind-blown mist from the Hudson River along with driving rain in West New… (Craig Ruttle / Associated…)

Hurricane Sandy, a.k.a. "Frankenstorm," is already wreaking havoc on the East Coast, bringing intense winds and driving rain, flooding neighborhoods, and causing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

"This is not a typical storm," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett told reporters Monday morning. "This is a hurricane wrapped in a nor’easter."

The TV networks are tripping over themselves to keep you informed of Sandy's every movement, but if you prefer to turn to original sources to get your information, you've got lots of options on the Internet and through social media.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Sandy approaches

The first stop for people with friends and family on the East Coast should be Google's Crisis Map. It will give you a good idea of the storm's trajectory and you can choose what information you'd like the map to display by checking and unchecking boxes in the "Layers list" on the right side of the map. For example, users who may be hit by the storm can use the map to find nearby shelters or figure out if the storm is headed their way; those of us who do not live in Sandy's projected path can watch the storm via the live webcams.

The data on the map come from a variety of sources, including the National Weather Service, Weather.com, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center and the Florida Division of Emergency Management. 

The recently launched website Quartz has put together a great list of live webcams stationed in Sandy's path. I've already spent long stretches of my morning watching the live cam from the boardwalk on Long Beach, Long Island, near where my grandfather had a bungalow. Note that some of the more dramatic webcams--like the one from the Statue of Liberty -- are super slow to load because of heavy traffic. 

There are a ton of outlets keeping tabs on Hurricane Sandy through Twitter. Accuweather.com's Breaking Weather Twittter feed is a good place to start if you want a constant stream of updates about how many people are without power, and how fast the winds are blowing.

The National Hurricane Center's Twitter feed is less overwhelming and will let you know whenever there is a new update from the National Weather Service.

YouTube has a link at the top of its homepage to the Weather Channel's live coverage of Hurricane Sandy. You can access it directly here

And finally, if you want to see how our East Coast friends are experiencing Hurricane Sandy, check out Instacane--a website that has collected Instagram photos from people documenting their experience of the storm, whether it be cooking a pound and a half of pasta "just in case" or photos of the New York City skyline with only-in-the-movies style ominous clouds.

To our friends and family on the East Coast, be safe, don't be stupid and good luck. We're thinking of you.

ALSO:

Majestic tall ship sinks in hurricane; 14 rescued, 2 missing

Hurricane Sandy barrels toward Northeast; 'Get out before you can't'

Some New Yorkers defy evacuation orders even after urgent warnings

Follow Deborah Netburn on Twitter or Google+

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