Light of day reveals massive damage in New York City & New Jersey
“War Zone” Queens residents describing effects from Sandy as waters rose in homes and fires swept through more than 80 homes.
Mapping the damage: Useful BBC map of damage in NYC
Power flash: Explosions at NYC power station innundated by floodwaters
Historic flood damage to NYC infrastructure: Statement from MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota on Service Recovery
The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on our entire transportation system, in every borough and county of the region. It has brought down trees, ripped out power and inundated tunnels, rail yards and bus depots. As of last night, seven subway tunnels under the East River flooded. Metro-North Railroad lost power from 59th Street to Croton-Harmon on the Hudson Line and to New Haven on the New Haven Line. The Long Island Rail Road evacuated its West Side Yards and suffered flooding in one East River tunnel. The Hugh L. Carey Tunnel is flooded from end to end and the Queens Midtown Tunnel also took on water and was closed. Six bus garages were disabled by high water. We are assessing the extent of the damage and beginning the process of recovery. Our employees have shown remarkable dedication over the past few days, and I thank them on behalf of every New Yorker. In 108 years, our employees have never faced a challenge like the one that confronts us now. All of us at the MTA are committed to restoring the system as quickly as we can to help bring New York back to normal.
Surreal sights in NYC last night.
Underwater: Entire towns in New Jersey inundated by surge & flooding… underwater last night into this morning
In the dark: Over 8 million without power (and counting)
2.4 million without power in New Jersey alone
Major damage on each of New Jersey’s major rail lines
“Unprecedented devastation” along the Jersey Shore according to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Sandy’s barometric pressure at landfall was 946 mb, tying the Great Long Island Express Hurricane of 1938 as the most powerful storm ever to hit the Northeast U.S. north of Cape Hatteras, NC.
New York City experienced its worst hurricane since its founding in 1624, as Sandy’s 9-foot storm surge rode in on top of a high tide to bring water levels to 13.88′ at The Battery, smashing the record 11.2′ water level recorded during the great hurricane of 1821. Damage from Superstorm Sandy will likely be in the tens of billions, making the storm one of the five most expensive disasters in U.S. history.
WxUnderground’s Jeff Masters on Sandy
Sandy set numerous records, here are some of then via WxUndergrounds Jeff Masters.
Sandy’s impact has been so severe over such a wide area that it is difficult to adequately document the event. I’ll start with some of the major cities that set all-time low pressure records during Sandy, with the new record followed by the old record and date of occurrence (thanks go to wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt for putting this list together):
Atlantic City, NJ: 28.01″/948mb 28.37″/961mb 3/6/1932
Philadelphia, PA: 28.23″/956mb 28.43″/963mb 3/13/1993
Harrisburg, PA: 28.46″/964mb 28.62″/969mb 1/3/1913
Scranton, PA: 28.69″/971mb 28.72″/973mb 2/25/1965
Trenton, NJ: 28.31″/958mb 28.43″/963mb 3/13/1993
Baltimore, MD: 28.49″/965mb 28.68″/971mb 3/3/1932
Harrisburg, PA: 28.46″/964mb 28.62″/969mb 1/3/1913
Remnants of Sandy rage on today:
Hurricane Sandy may be done, but the storm formerly known as Sandy rages on today. Here are some of the bigger effects today.
Wind & rain: The center of circulation is swirling over Pennsylvania today.
Sandy is still packing wind gusts to 30+ mph all the way from Canada, to Chicago, to the mountains of West Virginia and North Carolina.
Heavy snow rages in West Virginia and along the Appalachian Chain today. Snowfall totals so far exceed 15″ in several areas, and totals will push 2 to 4 feet by the time the storm winds down Halloween night.
Snow is also falling in parts of Ohio today.
Gale Warnings & huge waves on Lake Michigan & other Great Lakes:
Gale Warnings and Lakeshore Flood Warnings are flying for the southern end of Lake Michigan, including Chicago’s lakefront.
Winds gusted to 51 mph this morning at Gary, Indiana on the southern edge of Lake Michigan.
Waves from 20 to 25 feet, and as high as 33 feet are forecast for Lake Michigan.
The force of the wind will push a wall of water known as a “sieche” into the south shores of the lake as the wind runs down the full fetch.
Slow wind down:
Sandy will continue to spin over the eastern half of the USA through tomorrow, and then slowly slide north into Canada.
Billions, with a “B”
With so many communities under water today it’s not a question of if this will be our next “billion dollar” weather disaster, but how many billons in damage will ultimately occur. Irene produced 15.8 billion last year. Wide ranging estimates for Sandy so far are anywhere between 20 and 100 billion dollars.
The bigger measure of Sandy will be the memories and the effects that will last for years, as damaged infrastructure is rebuilt.
Perfect storm, perfect forecast?
It should be said that Sandy may be one of the best forecast storms in history. The NHC and meteorologists across the country can count this as a major victory for giving unprecedented notice and warning for the storm up to a week in advance. Because of the extensive damage and loss of life, it’s a hollow victory.
We may never know how many lives and how much property was saved because of the excellent forecasts and warnings leading up to Sandy.
This was an historic storm that had no precedent to draw on from a meteorological standpoint.
As bad as it is, loss of life from Sandy could have been a lot worse.