The National Weather Service says Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall Monday night. (Photo Courtesy National Weather Service)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - Unlike Hurricane Isaac last month, Central Illinois is not expected to see a dramatic impact from Hurricane Sandy this week.
Matt Barnes, National Weather Service meteorologist, said Monday parts of Indiana might see rain, but precipitation probably won't make it to Bloomington-Normal.
The main impact from the system will be blustery days Tuesday and Wednesday.
"We're looking at winds beginning to increase today and especially tomorrow. We could have gusts from the northwest at perhaps 30 to 35 miles per hour in Central Illinois," he said.
Sandy is clocking sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. The center of the storm is expected to make landfall in central or southern New Jersey Monday night.
Mandatory evacuations have already been ordered in low-lying areas and officials predict the storm could affect 50 to 60 million people.
"The storm is combining with another storm system further north and basically creating a hybrid-type storm with a very deep area of low pressure," Barnes said. "Most locations east of the Mississippi River will feel some kind of impact, whether it's strong winds or further east, rain and flooding."
Central Illinois Regional Airport is not experiencing cancellations currently, but CIRA spokeswoman Fran Streibing said flights to Atlanta or Detroit could be delayed Tuesday.
"Connecting flights, whether it's American through Chicago and Dallas, or Delta through Atlanta or Detroit, obviously those may not be operating," she said.
Streibing said airlines tried to move planes away from the East Coast this weekend to minimize the impact on westbound routes.
She said to check the status of flights online well before heading to the airport.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.