A Byron Bay woman now living in New York says flooding is her major concern as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the US east coast.
The storm is already producing winds of 120-kilometres-an-hour, and forecasters say it's expected to intensify.
Kirra Cheers moved to Brooklyn six months ago to pursue a career in photography.
She says transport services have shut down as thousands of people are ordered to evacuate low-lying areas.
"We decided not to evacuate, but we are on the 5th level of our apartment block, so we think we should be fine," Ms Cheers said.
"Some people are fairly panicked.
"I went down to the shops today and there was a line for the shopping centre 50 metres long, and there was actually a bouncer on the door, which was crazy.
"But everyone was like laughing and joking in the line and seemed to be in good spirits."
© ABC 2012
21:48 EST Brisbane's Riverwalk has reopened after being destroyed in the 2011 floods, but it could cost ratepayers $20 million more than had been expected.