par Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 29, 2012
Megastorm Hurricane Sandy is forcing ASTRO's 2012 annual meeting in Boston to close early today.
The radiation oncology society said on its website that the last session was held at 12:30 p.m. and the exhibit hall had to close at 1 p.m. as the massive Category 1 storm barrels up the East Coast.
Boston officials had said they were closing public transportation as a precaution at 2 p.m., and ASTRO said they had to have their shuttle buses off the road by then.
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CBS News said wind gusts of 41 miles per hour have already already reported in Boston early Monday afternoon. The storm, currently whipping up the ocean with 90 mph maximum sustained winds, is still traveling up the coast.
One doctor attending the conference from ProCure Proton Therapy Center in Oklahoma City-- who said he has also lived in Florida and has been through many natural disasters-- spoke with DOTmed News around 4PM and said this felt like a whole different beast.
"I'm almost 200 hundred pounds and the wind almost took me down," said Dr. Sameer Keole.
For now, the society said it expects to resume the meeting following a more or less normal schedule tomorrow, but of course it all depends on what Sandy does as it makes landfall tonight.
Weather Underground meteorologist Dr. Jeff Mastesr said on his blog that Sandy "is not going to pull its punch, and this superstorm is going to deliver a punishing multi-billion dollar blow to a huge area of the Eastern U.S."