As Hurricane Sandy continued to march toward the East coast, NBC meteorologist Al Roker suggested Sunday the “Frankenstorm” could impact the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election.
The storm, which Roker said measures about 1,000 miles in diameter, is expected to make landfall on the New Jersey coast late Monday night or Tuesday morning, but Roker said high wind warnings are already in effect stretching into Boston and Virginia and as far west as West Virginia.
“We’re talking 60 million people, and because of those high winds, we expect massive power outages throughout the area,” Roker told Meet The Press host David Gregory. “And as this system moves onshore, it’s gonna be a long-term effect. It’s gonna last for about 72 hours. And so we are talking about people who could be without power for at least 10 days, and that, as you know, will take it right into election day.”
The storm’s impact has already forced the cancellation of early voting in Maryland and in parts of North Carolina, and officials in Virginia have been asked to keep polling places open as long as possible.
“Obviously we want unfettered access to the polls because we believe that the more people come out, the better we’re going to do,” said campaign strategist David Axelrod. “And so to the extent that it makes it harder, you know, that’s a source of concern.”
Roker’s analysis of the storm, aired on NBC Sunday, can be seen below.