Editor's note: Sandy regained hurricane strength Saturday, as weather forecasts predict it will turn into a destructive "superstorm" and significantly impact the Eastern Seaboard on Sunday.
[Updated at 11:00 p.m.] Hurricane Sandy maintained its strength, with maximum 75 mph winds, as it churned through the Atlantic Ocean paralleling the U.S. East Coast.
The National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 p.m. advisory that that the storm's eye was 305 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Hurricane force winds, in excess of 74 mph, extend up to 105 miles out from Sandy's center.
[Updated at 8:26 p.m.] Hurricane Sandy continued to chug northward Saturday night, spinning at a 13 mph rate before its expected turn toward the U.S. East Coast.
As of 8 p.m., Sandy had sustained 75 mph winds and was centered about 355 miles east-southeast of Charleston and 330 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks, as well as Bermuda.
[Updated at 5:33 p.m.] The Bermuda Weather Service upgraded a tropical storm watch to a tropical storm warning as Hurricane Sandy churned toward the United States. The Bahamas, meanwhile, discontinued all tropical storm warnings.
[Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET] Hurricane Sandy continued its creep Saturday toward the U.S. East Coast, maintaining its Category 1 strength as officials warned residents to be prepared for strong winds and potentially inundating rains.
[Updated at 3:22 p.m.] In its 2 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center reported that Sandy was heading northeast at 11 mph and was centered about 335 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. Its maximum sustained winds were 75 mph, as they were late Saturday morning.
North and South Carolina are expected to experience tropical storm conditions, with sustained winds in excess of 39 mph, later Saturday afternoon and evening, according to the forecast. Mid-Atlantic states, including New York, should start feeling the full effects of the storm late Sunday.
[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET] New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has declared a state of emergency throughout the state as a result of severe weather conditions anticipated from Hurricane Sandy.
[Updated at 10:53 a.m. ET] Twenty-nine Haitians have died in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, civil protection spokesman Joseph Edgard Celestin says. This raises Sandy's death toll in the Caribbean to 45, with another 16 people were reported dead in Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
[Updated at 8:15 a.m. ET] Sandy restrengthened to hurricane status Saturday morning after having weakened overnight. It is a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph. Meanwhile, North Carolina declared a state of emergency in 40 counties.