Slow motion weather disaster in progress; NYC storm surge record; Water in tunnels now

Anatomy of a slow motion weather disaster.

NYC Battery storm surge falling now from peak of 13.88 feet, but damage is already done and flooding continues.

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NYC NWS storm report: WATER 3FT DEEP IN 4 NEW YORK PLAZA AND 6FT DEEP OUTSIDE.

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Floodwaters pour into train station.

Photo from a security cam in a Hoboken, NJ transit station.

NYC Battery surge still rising from 13.85 feet. (9:06PM EDT)

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Water in tunnels now. Slow motion weather disaster unfolding in NYC.

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Floodwaters enter Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

Photo: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Next: Waves

And now the waves. Waves in NYC Harbor will increase next few hours as winds turn more SE as Sandy’s center moves by.

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PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY

615 PM EDT MON OCT 29 2012

0610 PM 10/29/2012 NON-TSTM WND GST EATONS NECK, NY M94 MPH MESONET

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90 mph Hurricane Sandy maintains 90 mph sustained winds as of 5pm EDT update

80 mph gusts now along the Jersey Coast

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Racing NW at 28 mph Sandy sped up today and is racing onshore this evening EDT

“Condition critical” in NYC next 6 hours as rising surge and high tide will spike water levels

10-12 foot storm surge likely tonight for Battery Park in NYC

8:53pm EDT next high tide in NYC area

Massive storm effects as far west as Chicago on Lake Michigan

Sandy races inland:

Sandy picked up speed today and raced toward the Jersey Coast.

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It’s important not to focus too much on landfall due to the widespread damaging winds and effects from Sandy, but she will come ashore early this evening RDT in southern New Jersey or as the center skirts the Delaware Bay.

81 mph winds have been recorded as far away as Massachusetts.

Worst to come after landfall:

As Sandy moves ashore, the winds along the Jersey Coast north toward New York City will shift direction, and blow more from the south. That will push the storm surge…the huge bubble of water into New York Harbor around the full moon high tide tonight.

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This is the nightmare scenario many of us meteorologists have worried about for decades, and tonight will severally test flood protection in the city of New York.

Huge storm:

Sandy literally covers the eastern half of the USA. Tropical storm force winds over 40 mph winds extend 485 miles from the center. Hurricane force winds are reported as far north as Massachusetts.

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HURRICANE-FORCE WIND GUSTS HAVE BEEN REPORTED BY HAM RADIO OPERATORS ACROSS PORTIONS OF EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS AND RHODE ISLAND. A HAM RADIO OPERATOR RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 64 MPH…103 KM/H…WITH GUST TO 86 MPH…138 KM/H IN WESTERLY RHODE ISLAND…AND ANOTHER HAM RADIO OPERATOR REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 76 MPH…122 KM/H IN BARNSTABLE MASSACHUSETTS.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON REPORTS FROM THE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IS 940 MB…27.76 INCHES.

Appalachain Mountain “Blizzicane”

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 1 to 3 feet of snow and high winds as freezing air feeds into the western side of Sandy.

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Lake Michigan “Sieche” ahead:

As Sandy moves west Tuesday 50 to 60 mph winds will funnel down the entire length of Lake Michigan from the NNE.

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That strong push of water will create a sieche on the long lake fetch, and water will pile up with coastal flooding in Chicago and the south end of Lake Michigan in northern Indiana.

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You can think of a sieche as what happens when you push the water in a bathtub to one end, it rises dramatically on the other side.

Widespread damage: Damage reports from wind and flooding are to numerous to print here…here’s a link the NYC NWS storm reports.

Bottom line: Damage will increase tonight and last 2-3 more days as Sandy moves ashore and slows down over the northeast. Effects will be felt from Canada to Georgia and as far west as Lake Michigan and Chicago. Waves may even begin to build on Lake Superior near Duluth as NE winds reach 10-20 mph Tuesday.

PH

  • Bill Bodner

    Paul,

    Don’t know how you do it, but your site has the most concise, up to date information about Sandy that I can find without having to sit through a 45 second commercial.

    Love the work. Keep it up.

    Regards,

    Bill

  • Rudolph Wratten

    This should be a wakeup call.

    The sea levels are rising, global warming.

    This will be remembered as the NYC disaster, not so much for what has happened so far, but for what is to come.

    This is seawater, corrosive effects will lead to electrical shorts and transformer failures right when electricity is needed most, this winter.

    Figure on around a 2 month life before failure average so the peak of the failures will be right about Christmas and New Years.

    This will be the gift that just keeps on giving.

  • bsimon

    I 2nd Bill’s point. Not sure how, but a midwestern weather blogger has some of the best coverage of Sandy I’ve yet found.

  • Blaine Cross

    @Bill Bodner: “Don’t know how you do it … without having to sit through a 45 second commercial”

    Minnesota Public Radio is listener-supported by thousands of people in Minnesota and across the globe (due to a growing online audience). That’s how they do it.

    I am a sustaining member, like thousands of other folks, who value the service every day. MPR has automatic payment options for donations. If you like it, I encourage you to join us.

    (Truth: I don’t work for MPR — I am just another happy member).

  • Blaine Cross

    Sorry for the duplicate post. NoScript is not my friend.

  • Richard Reynolds

    I spent quite a while this morning trying to reconcile the reported storm surge with the data I pulled from the tide station at The Battery in NYC. Your article makes sense of it all in a clear and concise format. Keep up the good work. I believe in Public Radio!