Addition at 4:10pm EDT: CNN reporting 750,000 homes and businesses without power in eleven states plus D.C.
3pm EDT from National Hurricane Center. The eye of Sandy was 85 mi. southeast of Atlantic City moving northwest at 28 mph (very fast for a hurricane). Central pressure was 940 mb (27.76"). It is expected to make the coast in three to five hours.
Wind Gust Forecast 4pm EDT:
The scale is in knots. In order to get mph, you have to multiply by 1.15. So, 60 knots = 69 mph. 70 knots = 81 mph. 80 knots = 92 mph. The scale only goes up to 80 knots. Note the extreme winds in Long Island Sound as well as the New Jersey coast. Note also the gusts above 60 mph near the NC-VA border in the mountains as well as the increasing winds (gusts to near 50 mph from the north) over the Great Lakes.
This is 6pm EDT:
I have zoomed in because there are several important features. Winds at 30 ft (the standard meteorological measurement level) will be gusting in the 80 to 100 mph range if this is correct in NYC-Newark as well as over most of the land adjacent to Long Island Sound.
The winds are relatively calm in the eye, but don't let it fool you as it moves ashore and across New Jersey.
To the south, look at the 70+ knot (~ 80 mph) winds from near the mouth of the Potomac up the Bay and across southern DelMarVa. The models have been emphasizing this threat to DC, then Baltimore, and this high resolution model indicates it is likely correct.
At 10pm EDT, the eye is close to making landfall. Note the very strong winds to the north and south as well as the appearance of 50kt winds over part of Lake Ontario. These strong winds will spread west over the Lakes during the night and into tomorrow. Very strong gusts are predicted for DC and Baltimore by this time.
Very strong gusts and power failures now being reported in many areas of the Northeast and Middle Atlantic region.