Video>> U.S. East Coast preparing for Sandy
WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- A hurricane heading for impact with U.S. East Coast next week has weakened Friday, according to U. S. National Hurricane Center.
The fast approaching storm has alerted the federal government, and President Barack Obama has directed the government to fully support local efforts in preparing for the storm.
Hurricane Sandy's maximum sustained winds dropped to near 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour) on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm, which is tearing through Bahamas, is located about 430 miles (692 km) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and is moving north at a speed of 7 miles per hour (11 km per hour).
The storm is expected to move north along the East Coast, and is expected to turn northeast on Sunday, directly threatening mid- Atlantic to Northeast. It could also combine with winter storm front out of Canada to form a massive storm system in the region, potentially causing major damage to the most densely populated area of the country.
Facing with the prospect of a "Frankenstorm," Obama on Friday convened a call with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate, National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb, and Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan to receive an update on Sandy and ongoing federal actions to prepare for the storm, according to the White House.
The president directed Fugate to "ensure that all available federal resources are being brought to bear to support state and local responders in potentially affected areas along the eastern seaboard as they prepare for the severe weather."