NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy gains strength as she aims to make landfall in the Northeast, raking cities and towns with rain and wind gusts, according to the Associated Press.

sandyThe hurricane is currently expected to make landfall in New Jersey Monday night, where it will combine with two other weather systems — a wintry storm coming out of the west and cold air heading down from the arctic — effectively turning the system into a Frankenstorm, just in time for Halloween, the article stated.

Sandy's wrath is expected to be felt 500 miles from its center, causing cities like Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston to prepare for the worst.

The president has already declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, effectively authorizing federal relief work to begin well ahead of time.

Damage estimates from Hurricane Sandy are already up in the billions of dollars, and the storm has already claimed 67 lives.

To stay on top of the situation as it continues to unfold, click here, and stay tuned to local weather services.