Storm watch: Hurricane Sandy plows ahead, intense winds expected Sunday night

Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the Atlantic coast, with forecasts projecting it will build enough strength to cause power outages and up to 6 inches of rain in the District by Monday.

The storm continued to plow forward Saturday about 335 miles off the coast of Charleston, S.C., sustaining about 75 mile-per -hour winds. Gusts of wind up to 50 miles an hour are expected to hit a large portion of the mid-Atlantic coast by Sunday night, according to a 2 p.m. advisory by the National Hurricane Center.

Conditions will likely be worst Monday into Tuesday. Some nearby colleges, including the College of William & Mary in Virginia, have already cancelled Monday classes.

University spokeswoman Candace Smith did not immediately return a request for comment when asked if GW would cancel classes.

Meteorologists and public officials have warned D.C. residents to prepare for the worst, which would mean a direct hit that would cause coastal flooding and strong rain and wind that lasts through Tuesday.

Mayor Vincent Gray declared a state of emergency in the District Friday afternoon.

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