Looking Back-Super Storm Sandy
This time a year ago, the East Coast of the United States was dealing with something that is more often experienced on the Gulf Coast. The basic statistics for Sandy are the following, its millibars was 940, as a comparison, Katrina was 920 and Andrew was 922. There were 285 fatalities, the majority of deaths were as a result of drowning or being crushed by falling debris. It was the eighteenth named storm of 2012, tenth hurricane, and 2nd major hurricane of the season. At its largest Sandy was 1,100 miles across, wavered back and forth from Category 3 hurricane, Category 2,Category 1,Tropical Storm, Tropical Cyclone, showing a great deal of instability. Which is a bit of a blessing, I remember at one point over the last couple of years, watching a science/weather thing about what would happen is New York City ever received a direct hit from a hurricane. Direct as in coming straight into New York Harbor, Sandy wobbled quite a bit and so it hit the area and did cause widespread destruction, and fatalities, however, it could’ve been a lot worse. The storm surge in Battery Park in Manhattan was 13.88 feet and at one point a buoy in New York harbor registered a wave as high as 32.5 feet. The event happened over a span of 9 days, October 22-October 31, 2012.
On October 22 Sandy became a Tropical storm, on the twenty-third it reached hurricane status, the twenty fourth it hit Kingston, Jamaica carrying 80 mph.winds.On October twenty-fifth it hit Cuba as a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of 105 mph, then moved onto Haiti, killing 51 people, most likely due to drowning as the main problem there was flooding, there were 200,000 left homeless. On the twenty-sixth Sandy downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane again, at this point the East Coast of the United States, declares a state of emergency. By the twenty-seventh, Sandy has dropped down to Tropical Storm strength, then later that day, regaining strength yet again, to a Category 1 storm. See this is what I meant when I said it was a bit unstable. Up, down, up, down. On this day, Governor Christie of New Jersey orders the residents on the barrier Islands and the casinos to evacuate. Amtrak shuts down service in anticipation of the coming storm. On October twenty-eighth New York city shuts down the subway and the buses, Governor Cuomo activates the National Guard, Mayor Bloomberg orders evacuations in low lying areas and the schools closed. President Obama declares a State of Emergency and the airlines stop. October twenty-ninth, Sandy is now back up to a Category 2 hurricane and the winds extend 175 miles outward from the core. Washington,D.C. shuts down, the United Nations building in New York shuts down, the subways in D.C. shut down, now 11 million people are without transport services(aside from their own personal vehicles if they have them).West Virginia declares a State of Emergency as they are getting hit by not just rain from Sandy but SNOW. At this point there are approximately 6,700 National Guard troops activated. At this point, Sandy weakens…again. This time to a Post-tropical Cyclone, the next day it hits New Jersey and 110 homes burn in Queens, New York. The cause is not known but it was difficult to put the fires out because the buildings were isolated by flooding. October thirtieth Kennedy Airport allows some landing after 10 P.M. La Guardia and Newark are still closed due to damage sustained from Sandy. There are 7.9 million with no power in 15 states and 9,000 in 171 Red Cross shelters. The National Guard show up in Hoboken, New Jersey to help. On October thirty-first Newark reopens, the Hoboken ferry reopens, D.C. reopens, and 6.3 million are still without power. New York’s Bellevue hospital has to evacuate 725 patients due to damage sustained to the hospital.
The trouble caused by Sandy didn’t just end when the storm blew out, there were still issues in November and beyond. On November first, 4.8 million are still without power, La Guardia airport opens on a limited basis, and New York City schools are still closed. November second, gas shortages are a major problem, 67% gas stations have no gas to sell. The New York Marathon was canceled (I would think so) and 3.3. Million are still without power. On November third, gas rationing begins in New Jersey, November fourth 2.206 million are still without power (at least it seems to be decreasing). Three days later on November seventh,600,000 are without power, then a Nor-easter hits the areas already damaged by Sandy.(will explain a Nor-Easter on a later post)November ninth, New York has started gas rationing, November eleventh, the death toll is still rising…
It is estimated that there is $36.8 billion dollars in New Jersey, $19 billion in New York City and $41.9 in New York State.
That was a year ago, what is the effect of the storm now, today?
An article I read yesterday was talking about the physical and mental health problems that have been caused by Sandy. On a physical health sense, you have to take into consideration any injuries possibly sustained during the storm for those who did not evacuate. For those that did, there is the chance of injuring oneself while sifting through the rubble, mold exposure due to all the flooding, some people who had to evacuate were people in ill health to begin with and it was exacerbated by the situation. Then you have stress, which takes a toll on the body as well as the mind. The article was specifically discussing the mental health of Sandy survivors, some have reported not becoming depressed until now, a year later. Probably from looking around them and seeing that their lives are not back to normal yet, a lot of the time when a person is going through something really bad, they tend to go on adrenaline and just get what needs to be done,done.But eventually you have to slow down and then the emotions hit you. There is also PSTD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) being reported, and that is completely understandable.
There is also the effects today that things are not back to normal, there are people who were not able to get insurance payouts (sound familiar? Katrina. Hello),some things caused unseen damage, like in New Jersey, salt water damaged wiring that caused the fire earlier this year that destroyed a good bit of what had been a tourist attraction. Anytime you have a major disaster, you are always going to end up with a continuing list of problems. It takes time to make things ok again. It takes time to heal. I hope that from hear forward, things continue to get better for the folks affected by “Super Storm Sandy”.
Lead Blogger-Mr Twister
- 5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good (livescience.com)
- Did Hurricane Sandy live up to the media hype? Yes, and then some... (washingtonpost.com)
- Superstorm Sandy: Unraveling the mystery of a meteorological oddity (washingtonpost.com)