29 October 2012 by Luke McCormick
A large storm front bearing down on the US eastern seaboard is causing major travel disruption as states begin shutting down ahead of its arrival.
Hurricane Sandy is currently 385 miles south-east of New York and much of New York City is now in lock down, with public transport, schools and businesses shut down and 375,000 residents evacuated from low lying areas.
States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC and parts of North Carolina, with tens of millions of people affected.
Air travel in particular has been badly affected. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and Air France have cancelled all services to and from east coast cities, including New York, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Newark, and Philadelphia.
Some 6,800 international and domestic flights have been cancelled; while Amtrak has started suspending passenger train services across the north-eastern US.
A large storm surge is expected to cause widespread flooding in coastal areas, while large snow accumulations are anticipated further inland as the hurricane meets a winter storm moving in from the north.
British Airways said in a statement: "Hurricane Sandy is now projected to hit the USA East coast around 20:00 EST local. The transport systems in NYC are still suspended and people are being advised to take shelter.
"In response to this we have cancelled the following flights to and from the USA, due to operate on Tuesday 30 October:
"All remaining flights to and from the USA East coast remain operating at this stage. A further review will be held at 17:30 UK local to decide if these services can operate."