ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Sandy is racing toward an expected landfall early Monday evening in southern New Jersey or Delaware.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm's top sustained winds are holding at about 90 mph (150 kph). At 5 p.m. EDT, Sandy's center was about 30 miles (65 kms) east-southeast of Cape May, N.J. The vast storm was headed west-northwest at 28 miles per hour (44 kph).

Forecasters say Sandy will lash the coast with life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds.

Sandy was set to collide with a wintry storm from the west and cold air approaching from the Arctic. The combination superstorm could menace some 50 million people in the most heavily populated corridor in the nation, from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

(Click here to see Sandy storm photos)

Perdue declares state of emergency for western NC

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) -- Gov. Beverly Perdue has declared a state of emergency for western North Carolina due to the threat of a winter storm that's expected to dump up to a foot of snow on the region thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Perdue issued the proclamation Monday afternoon for 24 counties, days after she issued a similar proclamation for 40 counties in eastern North Carolina because of Sandy's winds and rain. The storm has led to flooding along the coast, shutting down N.C. Highway 12, the sole link between the southern Outer Banks and the mainland.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather warning for the northern half of the North Carolina mountains. Up to a foot of snow is possible in the higher elevations with wind gusts of up to 65 mph.

Snow was already reported Monday afternoon in Jefferson in Ashe County.

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