The ‘Frankenstorm’ this way comes

Hurricane Sandy is expected to meet with another storm and cold front from Canada, posing larger threat to US coast.

You have got to love the Americans for their penchant for naming everything.

Hurricane Sandy, the slow-moving storm that is creeping up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States is also known as “Frankenstorm”, or “Count Stormula”.

The reason for these unusual monikers?

First, the storm is about to disrupt Halloween celebrations on Wednesday.  (This would be the second year in a row the festivities have been disrupted in the Northeast)

Second, Sandy is set to collide with another, as yet unnamed storm, that is heading west, and a cold front coming down from Canada.

There are no computer models for what will happen when these three weather patterns collide.

One thing is sure, however: when hurricane meets snow storm in parts of the Northeast, it could make for a very grim couple few days for 30 million people.

Now, you may well be saying to yourself, “Why would a storm be a problem for the world’s only remaining so-called superpower?”

The answer is that, here in America, the power lines are above ground. Therefore, when it blows and snows in the autumn and the trees are still full of leaves, the branches buckle under the weight of it all and snap the power lines.

A year ago this happened where I live in New Jersey and we were without power for four days. Our neighbours went a whole seven days before the local utilities company could get the lights on. In my little town, we lost hundreds of trees.

But there is something else about living in America that has an impact on occasions like this: the American media scares viewers and listeners on a daily basis.

TV and radio ads assail residents, warning them to buy insurance for the homes, cars, health and pensions, or risk a bleak retirement.

They are also warned to stock up on power generators, bottled water and batteries in case of emergencies that include a surprise thermo-nuclear war, a bomb plot or financial meltdown.

The result of all this is that when my wife, the long-suffering Mrs T, went shopping on Friday afternoon – a full three days before Sandy is expected to come anywhere near here – the shelves had been stripped bare by people who’d been bulk buying all week.

It reminded her of a visit to East Berlin in the late 1990s, just after The Wall had come down.

And it did not stop at the shops gas stations also had long lines as people bought fuel in a panic.

I managed to find three packs of the much sought after “D” batteries – the ones you put in your torch – in a tiny store in a line of shops where no one but the locals would think to go.

So, now we are all stocked up and waiting for Hurricane Sandy to do her dance with the cold front from Canada and the other storm coming in from the west.

As I write, it is Sunday morning and I am heading into Delaware with my producer Karina and cameraman Stephen to meet Sandy head on.

On the radio they’re taking about life-threatening flooding along the Atlantic coast, emergency evacuations, and shutting down the New York City subway as a precaution.

It is worth remembering that no one knows how bad this storm will be, or where the worst-hit areas will be.

Last year, Hurricane Irene skipped right over New York but devastated areas of Long Island, New Jersey and even Vermont, a state well to the north.

The one thing we know for sure is what Americans will call this storm should it turn out to be nothing very special in the end. (This is the scenario that everyone is hoping will be the case, but that we know from experience may not be the case.)

Yes, Americans will have a name for the storm if it does fizzle out – not Snowmageddon, but Snoremageddon!