New York City's subway and bus services are due to grind to halt from Sunday night as a precaution against flooding ahead of the arrival of hurricane Sandy, it has been confirmed.

Erring on the side of caution, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the emergency suspension was due to come into effect a full day before the super storm is expected to make landfall in America. The transit shutdown will last until Wednesday under the current plan. Officials said services would resume operations about 12 hours after Sandy has passed through the city.

"If it turns and moves off, great. Really great. But if not then we will be prepared for it, " Cuomo said at a press conference Sunday.

The governor added that a decision on New York's network of bridges and tunnels to and from Manhattan would be made on a case-by-case basis

Similar measures were brought in to shut down New York City's transit system ahead of Hurricane Irene last November.

On that occasion, some 370,000 residents in low-lying areas in the city were evacuated as a precaution.

The measures announced in New York City come as governors from North Carolina to Connecticut declared states of emergency ahead of Sandy's arrival

The hurricane has already resulted in the deaths of nearly 60 people in the Caribbean, and forecasters have warned that it could now be in line to devastate parts of the US's east coast. © Guardian News and Media 2012