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“Frankenstorm” to bring flooding rain, wind and some snow to higher elevations

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Hurricane Sandy could turn out to be a peculiar monster of a storm for Loudoun residents – one that could mix in snowfall in higher elevations with the heavy rain and winds that come with tropical storms.

Sandy, forecasted to make landfall on the Delmarva Peninsula early Tuesday as a hurricane, will be a tropical storm by the time it passes north of Loudoun, but not before blanketing the area with heavy rain and winds.

“The main impact will start Sunday and last through at least Tuesday,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Heather Sheffield.

The National Weather Service forecasts four to six inches of rain for the County through Wednesday, according to NWS website. Tropical storms have sustained winds between 39 and 70 mph.

Residents can expect downed trees, flooding and some power outages as a result of the storm, Sheffield said.

There’s also a potential for snow in elevations above 1,500 feet as colder air moves in and the storm becomes more of a nor’easter, hence the nickname “Frankenstorm.”

“There’s uncertainty about when it’s going to lose those tropical characteristics and become post sub-tropical,” Sheffield said.

It’s still too early for any predictions about how much snow could accumulate.

The worst of the storm is expected to be out of the area by Wednesday night for Halloween, Sheffield said.

“There will be some moisture still around through next week,” Sheffield said, but nothing parents should worry about.

Loudoun County issued several recommendations to residents to help them prepare for the storm:
• Stock up on supplies this weekend, from batteries and first aid kits to non-perishable foods.
• Clear out storm drains and gutters to allow an easier flow of rainwater into drainage systems, reducing the likelihood of flooding.
• Have a good communication plan with friends and family.

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