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Sandy leaves damage for lengthy recovery

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 11:11

Sandy

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Hurricane Sandy left a wide path of destruction as it slammed the East Coast early this week. The latest update on the damage left by this historic super storm is standing at 61 deaths, 20 billion dollars in damage and 6.5 million homes and businesses without power. Electricity outages stretched as far west as Wisconsin and as far south as the Carolinas.

Airports and businesses are slowly beginning to resume work, including the New York Stock Exchange that experienced its first two-day shut down since the blizzard of 1888 — one of the most severe blizzards in the history of the United States.

The storm alone was not one of the most detrimental that the U.S. has experienced, however it was the environment it struck that left such catastrophic mess to clean up.

“Most of the damage was similar what would be expected to happen in Texas with a category one or weak category two hurricane,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, a professor in the Department of Meteorology. “It would be familiar to us but unfamiliar to them. They also didn’t have the infrastructure set up to handle it. The subway system got flooded out without much of the land protecting the entry ways.”

The extent of the damage was so severe that in some areas trick-or-treating was ordered to be postponed until Monday.

Nielsen-Gammon said, overall, this hurricane was very well forecasted.

“From what I understand the events played out similar to what was forecasted,” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The storm surge in New York City was actually larger than what was forecasted. It also moved a little faster than expected.”

In regards to an event like this happening in the future, it would take another atypical list of meteorological events to come together.

“It took several things coming together in just the right way [for Sandy],” Nielsen-Gammon said. “The odds of something like this happening again in the near future are very small. Going back to colonial times, every 100 years or so New York City gets hit with a hurricane [or another natural disaster], so this may have just been their storm of the century.”

Many of the affected cities are attempting to return to normality as businesses begin to open back up and workers begin to head back to the daily grind. However, like it is with any hurricane, the damage left by this unique and historic storm will inevitably been seen and worked around for longer than most would like.

 

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