TODAY | October 29, 2012
>> 330 miles south in virginia beach , virginia where power outages are already being reported. lester, good morning to you.
>> reporter: savannah, good morning. fortunately we have power right here along the boardwalk but there's virtually no beach left here. the waves and surges have been powering up here and lapping at the edge of the boardwalk. the northern edge of the storm is almost parallel with us, yet all night we've felt tropical storm gusts of wind. people are hunkered down from here all the way to new england knowing that the worst is yet to come. barrelling towards the east coast , hurricane sandy has nearly 60 million people on severe storm watch this morning.
>> kind of scary what's going on here, but hopefully it's going to miss us, and it won't get us.
>> reporter: the megastorm stretches more than 800 miles wide, from maine to north carolina .
>> this is a serious and big storm, and my first message is to all people across the eastern seaboard , mid-atlantic, going north, that you need to take this very seriously.
>> reporter: police are going door to door in coastal towns such as point pleasant beach, new jersey where storm surge is the greatest concern. more than 1 million people have been given a mandatory evacuation.
>> we have four kids so it's sort of the sensible thing.
>> reporter: including 375,000 in new york city where the entire transit system has been brought to a halt. no trains, buses or subways until further notice.
>> we don't want to encourage people being up and about.
>> reporter: transportation nationwide has also been affected with an estimated 6,800 flights grounded so far. frankenstorm, as it has been nicknamed, is expected to bring widespread heavy rainfall of up to 10 inches, couples with destructive wind gusts of 75 miles per hour and in some areas blizzard snowstorms. the damage, officials estimate, could be in the billions. today, those looking for supplies may find empty shelves after this weekend's mad rush.
>> i've already done the grocery shopping, got the flashlight, you know, have the candles, so i just needed to go out and get some ice.
>> reporter: while utility crews coming from as far away as illinois are doing their best to control potential power outages.
>> last night the power went out for about five seconds which my heart stopped.
>> reporter: for now the east coast is just awaiting the eye of the storm .
>> hope for the best and expect the worst.
>> reporter: there have been no mandatory evacuations at least here in virginia beach , but these are largely tourist areas up and down here. hotels and people have left on their own. this is the boardwalk, and we have seen the water. in fact, right behind me you see it's already surging up to the edge, and in some cases it has come across. people have left. power is still on in this area. not far from here in norfolk we're told they have seen some flooding. during the night we've seen plenty of localized flooding. rads a roads and streets were already impassable. folks have already left and those left are just waiting to see how bad sandy is going to