AT SEA - OCTOBER 29: In this handout GOES satellite image provided by NASA, Hurricane Sandy, pictured at 1240 UTC, churns off the east coast on October 29, 2012 in the Atlantic Ocean. Sandy, which has already claimed over 50 lives in the Caribbean is predicted to bring heavy winds and floodwaters to the mid-Atlantic region. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images) / NASA
New York Hurricane Sandy hits the U.S. East Coast Monday, threatening 50 million people in the most densely populated region of the country.
The National Hurricane Center said Monday that Hurricane Sandy increased its top sustained winds from 75 mph to 85 mph, with higher gusts, and was picking up speed.
The Category 1 hurricane has grounded thousands of flights in the U.S. northeast Monday on major airlines such as American Airlines, United and Delta. According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, nearly 7,500 flights had been canceled for Monday and Tuesday, almost all related to the storm.
Forecasters report that Hurricane Sandy is about 310 miles southeast of New York City, as of Monday morning. The center of the storm is expected to be near the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday night.
As the Hurricane Sandy continues, government agencies and emergency services are sending out updates on websites and social media services. Here are some of the ways to follow Hurricane Sandy online:
Emergency Services and Government Agencies on Twitter
Government Twitter Feeds
Delaware (hashtag #StormDE)
District of Columbia Mayor's Office (hashtag #SandyDC)
Maryland (hashtag #MDSandy)
Massachusetts (hashtag #MASandy)
New Jersey Governor's Office (hashtag #Sandy)
New York City (hashtag #Sandy)
New York Governor's Office (hashtag #Sandy)
Pennsylvania Governor's Office (hashtag #HurricaneSandy)
Rhode Island (hashtag #rigov)
Virginia Governor's Office (hashtag #Sandy)
Hurricane Sandy Hashtags
If the Internet goes down, there are a few ways to get real-time updates via Twitter. A spokesperson for Twitter sent these tips to CBS News via email.
- Fast Follow: A feature called "Fast Follow" is the quickest way to begin receiving updates from a Twitter source on your mobile device. You do not need to sign up for a Twitter account in order to receive updates directly to your mobile phone. For example, to follow FEMA (@fema) all you need to do is text 'follow fema' to 40404 in the US. You can do the same for any Twitter account - just send 'follow [username]' to 40404.
- Set SMS alerts: From your computer, wherever you see a user on Twitter.com, you can hover over their name or avatar, and click on the phone icon that appears in the hovercard. Whenever they tweet, you'll get it as an SMS message on your phone.