| Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 8:58 p.m.

It seems that it is no longer a question of if the Fay-West area will be affected by Hurricane Sandy but a question of how hard the area will be hit.

Potential high winds, intense rainfall and even heavy snowfall in elevated areas is expected in the region early next week.

With Sandy continuing to blast toward the Atlantic coast, AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate the storm to make landfall early next week somewhere along the Northeast or mid-Atlantic coast.

At the same time, cold air advancing southeastward into the Ohio Valley, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia will drop temperatures a good 30 to 40 degrees cooler than they were on Thursday.

A large dip in the jet stream will pull Sandy ashore, and the two will merge together to form a powerful storm system that will affect most of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

“We still aren't sure where it's going to head and how far inland the storm will go,” National Weather meteorologist Rihaan Gangat said of Sandy. “It has the potential for heavy rains and flooding. It could also bring heavy wet snow in the higher elevations.”

Another front will be coming into the Fay-West area from the west that will bring rains today and Sunday — and expect the winds to start to pick up later today.

“The winds will increase up to around 10 mph and maybe gust up to 20 mph,” Gangat said.

State emergency operations units are gearing up. The American Red Cross has issued warnings and also safety suggestions. The storm could easily cause long-term power outages, downed trees and clogged roads.

Flash flooding is also a possibly.

The American Red Cross suggests that people prepare for the threat of the dangerous storm by packing coolers with ice for food, making sure cell phones are charged, checking flashlight and candles or lantern supplies.

All refrigerators and freezers should not be opened in the case of a power outage and a preparedness kit containing first aid supplies, blankets and water is also a good idea.

State emergency operation units are sending out warnings to residents who reside in areas believed to be in the storms path, and the American Red Cross has set up informational Apps that can be downloaded to phones to use in the case of emergency.

But even without the threat of Sandy, the strong western front coming into the area today will bring in lots of wet conditions and much cooler days.

“It's going to stay in the 40s and 30s all the rest of the week,” Gangat said.

For now, residents along the East coast states are urged to stay tuned for information on the potentially life-threatening storm, monitoring its progress.

“We'll have a better idea by Sunday what it will be doing and how far inland it may travel,” said Gangat.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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