After it was all over, Hurricane Sandy had left $50 billion in economic damage, according to the National Hurricane Center. At least 650,000 homes were destroyed, and 8 million residents left without power. The storm surges were in incredible; 8.5 feet higher than normal in Sandy Hook, New Jersey and 12.5 feet at Kings Point, Long Island.
Why was Hurricane Sandy So Devastating?
Hurricane Sandy was a combination of category one hurricane, cold front and a second storm effectively converting torrential rain into snow. Even before it landed, Hurricane Sandy was already projected to be devastating, and as it turned out to be, it was the largest tropical storm ever to hit the Atlantic, measuring 900 miles in diameter.
Hurricane Sandy combined with wind that sped at 150 mph at it was effectively pushed toward Pennsylvania and New York. The storm was further given momentum by a weather pattern referred to as North Atlantic Oscillation. By the time Hurricane Sandy was hitting the shores, it had already picked up moisture from the Gulf Stream. Worse still, Sandy touched the ground just in time for the full moon, thereby propelling the storm’s surges to higher than normal levels. It was the unique combination of factors that made Sandy overly destructive.
While technically Hurricane Sandy was not a hurricane per se, this once in a lifetime occurrence did put 50 million people at risk. Unfortunately, 72 people were directly killed by the storm, and another 87 deaths occurred due to hypothermia brought about by power outages, accidents and carbon monoxide during the cleanup process.
Flooding and Winds Impact
Hurricane Sandy’s surge affected a 600-mile stretch of the Eastern Seaboard. The Lower Manhattan Battery Park was hit by a total of fourteen-foot waves. More than 80% f Atlantic City was submerged in water, and a section of Boardwalk was swept away.
The winds had reached a top speed of 80 mph by time Sandy touched the ground. It was after landfall that Sandy was downgraded to a post-tropical storm. However, winds continued to be felt as far as the Great Lakes and Canada.
How Does Hurricane Sandy Compare with Other Big Storms?
Hurricane Sandy is regarded as the second most destructive storm in the United State’s history after Hurricane Katrina, a category two storm. Katrina cost the economy more than $ 125 billion and brought about property damage worth $ 81 billion.
Sandy is also the second most expensive hurricane after displacing Andrew, a category five storm that hit Florida in 1995 and caused property damage worth $ 55 billion.
More Information on Hurricane Sandy