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Military preparing for 'Frankenstorm'

WASHINGTON -- All U.S. Navy ships in the Hampton Roads, Va., are being sent out to sea and out of harm’s way as Hurricane Sandy churns up the East Coast.

Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, directed the ships to leave by early Saturday morning. The ships will move to safer waters to weather the storm.

“Based on the current track of the storm, we made the decision to begin to sortie the fleet,” Gortney said. “The current timeline allows them enough time to transit safely out of the path of the storm.”

Meanwhile, 61,000 members of the National Guard are ready to respond, defense officials said.

The Defense Department is closely monitoring the storm and coordinating with FEMA, U.S. Northern Command the National Guard to be ready to assist states across the Northeast, if necessary, said Pentagon spokesman George Little.

“This has the potential to be a dangerous storm,” he said.

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