As politicians and other officials have been  preparing for Hurricane Sandy, they have hammered home one message above all -  don’t ignore the warnings.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie was on the  offensive, denouncing anyone who disobeyed his evacuation notice as ‘stupid and  selfish’.

Barack Obama echoed the sentiment, saying:  ‘When they tell you to evacuate, you need to evacuate.’

But as these pictures show, not everyone in  the hurricane’s path has been paying attention.

A significant number of foolhardy  north-easterners are apparently refusing to follow orders – and instead  are  doing their best to get as close as possible to the hurricane’s  effects.

Whether they  are hanging out on piers which  are threatened with destruction, or  taking photographs of towering waves, these  brave souls show little  regard for their personal safety.

More worryingly, some seem to be putting  their children in harm’s way too,  with several images of youngsters playing on  the very beaches which are  expected to bear the brunt of the  attacks.

And the pictures also bear witness to the  willingness of some to ignore  evacuation orders, with natives of New York’s  City Island staying put  even as the storm surge reaches as far as their  homes.

Hurricane Sandy has impacted the East Coast  with surging waves, torrential rain and winds of up to 90mph -  leaving 1.5  million people without power.

As Sandyslams into New Jersey, where the water has already reached five feet high,  hundreds of thousands of people across Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland,  Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,  Rhode  Island and Virginia are without power.

Utilities company ConEd had called customers  to warn it will shut off power lines across Manhattan and Brooklyn, meaning  millions more will be affected.  The company shut off power in 200,000 homes in  the area in last year’s  Hurricane Irene – but this year’s storm packs a much  fiercer punch.

Sandy, which forecasters said could be the largest hurricane in  U.S. history, has revealed the first  signs of her monstrous power, dumping  snow, breaching rivers and forcing floodwaters into towns and homes across the  East Coast.

During a press conference at lunchtime on  Monday, Obama said: ‘Do not delay. Don’t pause. Don’t question the instructions  that are being given, because this is a serious storm and it could potentially  have fatal consequences.’

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was  even more forceful, saying: ‘If you don’t evacuate, you are not only endangering  your life, you are also endangering the lives of the first responders who are  going in to rescue you.’

He was particularly insistent that  thrill-seekers should not risk their lives by trying to take advantage of the  record waves.

Despite the warning, one man was pictured  surfing just off Coney Island in Brooklyn.

Christie had very strong words for anyone who  refused to evacuate the low-lying New Jersey barrier islands.

‘If I turn out to be right and you turn out  to be dead, that’s not a great equation,’ he told holdouts, whom he has  repeatedly blasted as ‘stupid’.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo added to the  cautionary chorus, saying: ‘You do not need to be going to the beach to take  pictures.

‘Don’t be fooled. Don’t look out the window  and say, “Well it doesn’t look so bad.”‘

Amidst the doom-laden warnings, at least one  member of the public appeared to take a more light-hearted approach to the  hurricane’s arrival.

A news team in Washington DC filmed footage  of the prankster running around the streets wearing just underwear and a  horse-head mask.


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