Hurricane Sandy:  Live Open Thread

Posted by The_Elves

Please post your experiences of Hurricane Sandy in the comments, including links to any interesting storm tracking sites, pictures, news stories, etc.

This storm has the potential to bring severe damage and disruption across much of the East Coast from Delaware to Maine in the coming days. Please be in prayer for all affected.

Filed under: * Admin* General InterestNatural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.Weather

Posted October 29, 2012 at 9:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Karen B. wrote:

A ship HMS bounty is in distress off NC and crew has had to be rescued by coastguard.  2 still missing

October 29, 11:33 am | [comment link]
2. Karen B. wrote:

One of the things I think people fail to appreciate with this storm is its EXTREME LOW PRESSURE. 

The latest recon flight (14:00 GMT Oct 29) has just found pressure of approx 943mb.

The record low pressure for the area was previous 946mb in the “Long Island Express” hurricane of 1938.  Other areas like Baltimore or Richmond, the previous record low pressures are around 960 - 970.  Don’t know yet for Boston or further north, still need to research.

So basically this is like a “Category 3” or worse storm, even though it “only” has “Category 1” winds.  It has the potential to do severe damage. 

The other very unique thing about this storm is its massive size.  Last night the hurricane was producing tropical force winds in Bermuda and North Carolina (830 miles apart) SIMULTANEOUSLY!!!  Unheard of.
I *think* Sandy is now the largest storm on record in the Atlantic.  (I need to verify that, but she is certainly in the top 3.)

What that means is twofold.
1) Sandy is pushing a HUGE HUGE HUGE amount of water forward.  Her storm surge potential is currently estimated by the NHC / NOAA to be at a level of 5.8 on a 0 - 6 scale.  WORSE THAN KATRINA.

2) There will be SUSTAINED tropical force winds over most of the area (all of NJ, NYC, Long Island, Philly, CT, etc.) for probably 24 hours or more.

Finally, it is the ANGLE OF SANDY’s LANDFALL with the coast that makes her exceptionally dangerous to NYC.  She is expected to come in with a hard left turn into central NJ, thus basically coming in perpendicular and continuing W - NW.  That is nearly unheard of, and what it will mean is that she will push a massive wall of water NORTH into NY Harbor & Long Island sound. 

This is quite a combination of “worst-case scenarios” I’m afraid.  ANYONE IN A FLOOD ZONE needs to take extreme precautions and heed any evacuation orders!!

I’m not an expert, but I’ve been a hurricane geek for nearly 40 years, and I’ve been monitoring this storm nearly non-stop since Friday afternoon.

Please pay attention to NHC and NWS and local officials.  But please believe me that this is a storm that must be taken extremely seriously!

October 29, 11:47 am | [comment link]
3. Kendall Harmon wrote:

As I was just telling a friend in chat, it’s very weird for us in South Carolina to see all this, it feels like role reversal. Down here we are often worrying about hurricanes and the weather in NJ and on up the east coast and inland is fine.

Now it is vice versa.  It is a gorgeous day here.

I remember so many friends who said after Hugo they wish they had taken the preparation calls seriously.  I hope and trust people will do so in the regions likely to be most affected.

October 29, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
4. Karen B. wrote:

Just saw this comparison graphic of Sandy vs. Irene.  Scary.

I was in the US (in the Adirondacks in Upstate NY) for Irene, and then I drove down to Hoboken and throughout NJ in the days following the storm.  I saw the serious flooding in Westchester county, northern & central NJ with my own eyes… (and dealt with all the road closings and detours).  This will be worse.

October 29, 12:20 pm | [comment link]
5. Jason Miller wrote:

A friend of mine is a meteorology prof—posted this wind map:

October 29, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
6. Karen B. wrote:

NY Harbor webcam:

October 29, 12:30 pm | [comment link]
7. Karen B. wrote:

Joe Bastardi tweet: “Based on the latest data, storm surge values for New York City have been increased to the 12-14ft range.”

I haven’t yet confirmed this info on the NHC or NWS sites, but if true, we’re talking catastophic flooding of the battery and big areas of Long Island.  I expect the NYC subway or parts of it to be shut down for weeks.

Again:  I am an amateur.  But a dedicated hurricane geek, so I have some confidence that I am not being an alarmist.  Yet I really hope I’m wrong!

October 29, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
8. Karen B. wrote:

I know there’s already a top level post with a link to Lent & Beyond and information and prayers which I’ve been posting there.  But for the record on this thread, here are the links again:

Hurricane Prayer:

All Sandy-related posts:

October 29, 12:54 pm | [comment link]
9. Karen B. wrote:

By the way, I’ve just checked, it is official that Sandy is the largest-ever tropical cyclone on record in the Atlantic ocean.

I post the Wikipedia link for convenience and because there’s lots of interesting info there, but I have also verified the fact with experts on a weather site I’m a member of.

October 29, 1:16 pm | [comment link]
10. Karen B. wrote:

ok.  Tropical weather meteorologist and respected expert, Dr. Jeff Masters says it all better than I can in his latest post.  For any perhaps thinking this is “just another Category 1 hurricane” you are SO wrong.  Please read this:


The final countdown to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival has begun, and this extraordinary and historic storm is already causing havoc all along the U.S. coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts. The scale of this massive storm truly earns Sandy the title of “superstorm”. Sandy’s tropical storm-force winds span an area of ocean 940 miles in diameter, and both North Carolina and the island of Bermuda, 700 miles to the east, are under tropical storm warnings. The region of ocean covered by 12-foot high seas spans an area of ocean an incredible 1560 miles in diameter. Winds near hurricane force are expected to affect waters from Virginia to Massachusetts today. Record storm surge flooding has already occurred in regions along the New Jersey coast this morning, and the highest water levels recorded in over a century of record keeping are expected over much of the New Jersey and New York coasts this evening during the 8 - 9 pm EDT high tide cycle.  ...

The National Weather Service in Atlantic City, NJ said that isolated record storm surge flooding already occurred along portions of the New Jersey coast with this morning’s 7:30 am EDT high tide cycle. As the tide goes out late this morning and this afternoon, water levels will fall, since the difference in water levels between low tide and high tide is about 5’. However, this evening, as the core of Sandy moves ashore, the storm will carry with it a gigantic bulge of water that will raise waters levels to the highest storm tides ever seen in over a century of record keeping, along much of the coastline of New Jersey and New York. The peak danger will be between 7 pm - 10 pm, when storm surge rides in on top of the high tide. The full moon is today, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month, adding another 2 - 3” to water levels.

Read it all.

October 29, 1:25 pm | [comment link]
11. Karen B. wrote:

From the latest briefing from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, NJ (covers most of NJ including the shore, Philly, Delaware… basically “ground zero” for landfall)

New @NWS_MountHolly update minces no words: “Options for it to miss us have run out. This is our worst-case scenario.”

October 29, 1:59 pm | [comment link]
12. Milton Finch wrote:

And the evil Queen of the North sent her Forces to smite the Man of God in the South.  This Angered The Lord and He sent a mighty Storm over the land ruled by the Queen of the North to change her heart.  So it would have been written 2 to 4 thousand years ago, but we know better that it is just weather in this day and age.  May God bless the people of the North as this horrible thing transpires upon them.

October 29, 2:10 pm | [comment link]
13. Cennydd13 wrote:

I looked at the storm track yesterday morning, and it was projected to head on a NNW heading towards Central New York and western Massachusetts.  If this storm is anything at all like the last major storm to hit that area, it will cause massive damage.  I am originally from the Mohawk Valley area, and I can tell you that there was massive flooding and destruction even then.  I pray that this storm won’t be any worse.

October 29, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
14. Catholic Mom wrote:

OK, I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that the inland flooding from Sandy will be much much less than Irene.  I was in ground zero for Irene and I’m in ground zero for Sandy.  The eye is on track to pretty much go over my house, just like Irene.  The tidal surges will cause horrific damage along the cost, but they are saying now *maximimum* five inches of rain inland, which, for around here, is nothing.  The local river (the Millstone) which surrounded my house and came within 6 inches of entering the basement windows, crested at 24 feet in Irene (a historical high).  Predicted crest for Sandy is 10 feet.  I don’t think we’re going to see the folks wiped out along the Passaic and Delaware that we saw last year.

On the other hand, I personally have two generators, four sump pumps, and 20 gallon of gasoline, have moved everything in my basement to my living room and have sandbags around my basement windows, so I guess I can afford to be optimistic. smile

October 29, 2:35 pm | [comment link]
15. Milton Finch wrote:

May His Angels watch over you and yours, Catholic Mom.

October 29, 2:38 pm | [comment link]
16. Catholic Mom wrote:

Thank you.  The wind has picked up to about gale force now and we just lost power for two minutes, but it’s back on now.  However, I am not afraid of the wind or the loss of power—that’s usually mostly just an inconvenience.  I am afraid of water because that causes the most damage and because insurance won’t cover it. (Although FEMA covered some of our damage last year.)  We did have five trees down last year and damage to two sections of our fence and a hole in the sofit of our roof, but that was nothing compared to the damage we had in our basement (water heater, etc.).  So as long as this stays on the OUTSIDE of my house, I am not too worried. smile  As I said, I don’t think the inland flooding will be as great.  It’s not freezing outside, so even loss of power isn’t going to be too bad (for me, at least—of course for people with medical problems, etc. it can be horrific, but I am hoping most of those folks have taken precautions.)

October 29, 3:23 pm | [comment link]
17. Milton Finch wrote:

How far off the shore are you, Catholic Mom?

October 29, 3:32 pm | [comment link]
18. Catholic Mom wrote:

A long ways.  At least 40 miles.  But the problem is that we are in a Class A flood zone.  We are at the southern end of the Millstone River watershed which drains a huge area.  So if a hurricane brings serious rain (like Irene did) then we are going to get swamped by the Millstone.  Not as bad as the worst flooding areas in NJ, which are the Pasaic and the Delaware, but bad.  We didn’t have water in our house (just our basement) in Irene but we had neighbors less than a mile away with water in their first story.  In Manville (which is always the worst place in NJ—only about 15 miles from here) they had houses with water in their second story.

NJ is called the “Garden State” because things grow so well here.  Not as rocky and cold as farther north, not as hot as farther south.  Just right, with lots of water. smile  So we have huge trees covering everything that hasn’t been plowed under.  When get that much rain, it only takes a microburst of wind to start knocking down the big trees like matchsticks.  That’s what causes the power outages.

October 29, 3:48 pm | [comment link]
19. Catholic Mom wrote:

OK, my husband says we are 25 miles as the crow flies. I’m not a crow, so I have to go farther. smile

October 29, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
20. BlueOntario wrote:

Karen, just looked at the 11am report on the wind field and by my eye hurricane force winds approx. 225 miles diameter. I do recall a storm c. 1989-90 that had sustained hurricane force at 400 mile diameter. It was in the middle of the North Atlantic, so nothing felt on this (west) side of the pond other than surf. I never followed it to see what it brought to Europe.
While Sandy may not be the biggest, it is big one and hitting at the worst spot at the worst time for only a “1.” Wicked deep low. The fact that it’ll impact the south shore of Lake Michigan, with the winds able to blow straight down its long fetch, is pretty amazing.

October 29, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
21. TomRightmyer wrote:

Very windy in Asheville, NC, short loss of power about 1 pm, snow predicted tonight.

October 29, 4:13 pm | [comment link]
22. Eric Swensson wrote:

NYC is in for a heck of a time. “Emergency workers are at the scene of a crane that’s dangling off a 65-story building. Television images show part of the crane hanging off the luxury building on West 57th Street. No injuries are reported. However, streets have been cleared as a precaution.”

October 29, 4:35 pm | [comment link]
23. Karen B. wrote:

#20, you only looked at HURRICANE force winds.  Tropical storm force winds make Sandy the biggest storm ever in the Atlantic.  Please trust me on this.  I am on a weather discussion board with nationally known tropical meteorologists.  I’m not just stating my opinion.

October 29, 6:17 pm | [comment link]
24. Catholic Mom wrote:

Due to make landfall just south of Atlantic City shortly.  Path now looks like it will pass south of us and slam into Philadelphia/Wilimington.

October 29, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
25. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Prayers for the safety of all in Sandy’s path and for the calming of the waters.

You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up you still them

Psalm 89:9

Also Psalm 91

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer
in Jesus’ name. Amen

October 29, 6:30 pm | [comment link]
26. Catholic Mom wrote:

Very high winds now.  Power went out for five minutes but back now.  Almost no rain.  This is very very good for central NJ.  Prayers for everyone not so lucky tonight.

October 29, 7:27 pm | [comment link]
27. Karen B. wrote:

Must see this graphic with the current forecast probabilities for tropical storm force winds.

October 29, 7:32 pm | [comment link]
28. Karen B. wrote:

Report of a building collapse in NYC.  People may be trapped inside

Also, shelters flooded in Atlantic City.

As to ship’s crew in comment #1, 1 of the 2 missing has been found.  “unresponsive” - no news on the remaining missing crew member.

October 29, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
29. Karen B. wrote:

Reports that the East River has flooded South Street seaport, and reports of transformer explosions.

(I’m getting all this stuff from a weather discussion board, so may not always have links.  My internet is poor tonight. I can’t watch video or load photo-heavy sites.  I’m relying on a text based discussion site for most news.)

I’m posting items that sound most serious and situations that need prayer.

October 29, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
30. Karen B. wrote:

New blog entry by Dr. Jeff Masters:

Hurricane Sandy is making its final approach, and will be ashore near the Delaware/new Jersey border early this evening. The scale of this massive storm truly earns Sandy the title of “superstorm”, and no storm since at least 1988 has struck the U.S. with a wider area of tropical storm-force winds. High wind warnings are posted from Northern Michigan to Lake Okeechobee, Florida, and from Chicago to Maine. All-time low pressure records have been set at Atlantic City, NJ, Philadelphia, PA, and Wilmington Delaware. The rain is coming down in sheets along the east coast, where heavy rain stretches from Virginia to Pennsylvania and New York. Virginia Beach, VA has seen 9.26”, Dover, DE has seen 6.36” and Ocean City, MD has seen 6.31”. Some of the heaviest rain, apart from close to the center, is actually on the far western side, where a strong band of precipitation has set up running north to south from Erie, PA south to Pittsburgh, PA. This strong band of rain is moving west into Ohio. Wind gusts have been peaking above 80 mph in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts this afternoon. The strongest gusts we’ve seen today include 86 mph at Westerly, RI, 84 mph on Plum Island, NY, and 83 mph on Cuttyhunk Island, MA. Sustained winds speeds of 40+ mph stretch from Delaware to Rhode island, with the strongest sustained wind closest to the center of circulation in Lewes, DE. All of this strong, onshore wind has been pushing huge amounts of water toward the shore, where it has nothing to do but pile up over land.


October 29, 8:05 pm | [comment link]
31. Formerly Marion R. wrote:

I am on the NJ Shore at 30-40 ft above sea level. We’re a few blocks from a tidal estuary and about 5 miles from the beach. TV coverage is very misleading. They are down here from the NYC affiliates three or four times a year to show big waves crashing over the sea wall.  They’re here now. The wave action is unremarkable. What they cannot cover well is the storm surge, which is a complete disaster for the thousands of homes squeezed together along the bays rivers and estuaries. The estuaries are at record height right now and rising.

We inland rely on storm drains that drain into the estuaries. We expect these to fail before midnight, causing flooding. Thing is, there hasn’t really been much rain, so the ground is not saturated yet (I was just outside).

The storm doesn’t seem to have a well formed eye, but to the extent that it does, we are under the north inner wall right now. Winds are shifting 90deg and are picking up significantly. We’ve lost one tree and expect to lose more when the winds finish shifting to the south.

Irene last year was a non-event here at the shore.  The problem was all the wind and rain in unusual places inland. I believe we will actually see similar unusual damage over Wed/Thu. The current models agree the storm will make an odd right turn and run NE straight up the Appalachian Trail, and so far the models have been pretty accurate.

October 29, 8:12 pm | [comment link]
32. Karen B. wrote:

MAJOR FLOODING UNDERWAY.  Here are some of the tide + surge levels:

Updated from Dr Masters Blog.

Kings Point, NY: 12.05 ft
Sandy Hook, NJ: 11.42 ft
Bridgeport, CT: 9.38 ft
New Haven, CT: 8.83 ft
The Battery, NY: 10.69 ft
New London, CT: 7.64 ft
Atlantic City, NJ: 8.34 ft
Lewes, DE: 5.94 ft

October 29, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
33. Marie Blocher wrote:

28 update:
only the facade of the building collapsed
(so far), no one trapped inside. But their
stuff is going to get soaked, perhaps blown away.

October 29, 8:19 pm | [comment link]
34. Karen B. wrote:

An interesting radar loop showing WIND, not rains.

Note the scale is in KNOTS, not MPH.
(50 Knots = 57.6 MPH)

October 29, 8:19 pm | [comment link]
35. Karen B. wrote:

#33 Marie, thanks for the update.
#31 MarionR.  Stay safe.  Praying for all on the Jersey Shore tonight.

October 29, 8:22 pm | [comment link]
36. Karen B. wrote:

Look at this graph of the Barometric Pressure at Atlantic City (where a new low pressure record has been set tonight.) Atlantic City, NJ &flag=0

wow, talk about falling off a cliff!

October 29, 8:23 pm | [comment link]
37. Catholic Mom wrote:

Gale force winds now.  Power went out about 15 minutes after hurricane made landfall.  Thanks to trusty generator, am now sitting at kitchen table with light, internet, and refrigerator.  smile

Biggest problem is that dogs refuse to go outside.  Had to just walk them in the pitch dark with huge trees waving widly close to my head.  Will only do that once again tonight.

Virtually no rain.  We are so very very lucky tonight.

October 29, 8:25 pm | [comment link]
38. Karen B. wrote:

The Battery in NY has surpassed a flood record. This was posted a little while ago:

From Tri State Weather:
Breaking News: The water level at the Battery in NYC has reached 11.25 feet, surpassing the all-time record of 11.2 feet set in 1821

The level is now close to 11.9 feet and still rising.  This probably means very serious flooding of large areas of lower Manhattan and the subway tunnels.  Remember, this is salt water and it corrodes things badly and it also is a high-voltage conductor.  I predict there will be major disruptions to NY subway service for WEEKS.

That is my own guess, but I’m seeing others with more knowledge suggest the same thing.

October 29, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
39. Karen B. wrote:

“This sand dune is the only thing between the town and the sea…” Grim video from NBC News reporter Ron Allen in Point Pleasant, N.J., as 10-foot waves crash behind him. The news crew is safe, but conditions have since become worse.

10-foot waves hit New Jersey
Video on Police have sealed off Point Pleasant Beach in New Jersey, and a mandatory evacuation order is in effect.

from NBC

October 29, 9:02 pm | [comment link]
40. Karen B. wrote:

One of my best friends and former college roommates is a reporter for ABC News in NY.  She’s in Jersey City tonight and we are exchanging brief emails.  She just sent me this.

I’m running around. In jersey city now where Hudson River is pouring into downtown. Breached the border

Lucy Yang
WABC-TV, Channel 7

October 29, 9:13 pm | [comment link]
41. Catholic Mom wrote:

60 foot oak tree just fell in our front yard.  I am sick.  That tree was the centerpiece of our front yard and just spectacularly beautiful.  There is a hole 20 foot in diameter where it fell.  My husband told me to be grateful that it didn’t fall onto our house but I am just sick.

October 29, 9:19 pm | [comment link]
42. Karen B. wrote:

@WSJweather MTA spokesman on ABC confirmed water in the subways.

October 29, 9:27 pm | [comment link]
43. Sarah wrote:

Catholic Mom—I’m so sorry.  I have similar sized trees in my yard and they are just wonderful treasures.

October 29, 9:27 pm | [comment link]
44. Karen B. wrote:

Catholic Mom, so thankful you’re safe, but I’m so sorry for all you’re going through.

October 29, 9:42 pm | [comment link]
45. Karen B. wrote:

Tons of pix of Lower Manhattan flooding.

NY Times Live Blog is reporting cars floaring on Wall Street

October 29, 10:15 pm | [comment link]
46. Karen B. wrote:

I’m focusing comments here mostly on NYC because that is what’s being covered in the sites I’m following.  What has me concerned is that there is little to no news out of Atlantic City.  I fear that’s going to be VERY VERY bad since so many disregarded evac order.

October 29, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
47. Catholic Mom wrote:

Thank you.  I’m basically on the point of tears but my husband (of course) says I’m an idiot and that I should hope that’s all that happens tonight.  The wind outside right now sounds like a jet engine when you open the door.  Problem is the dogs won’t go out there (who would?) and we have to take them out to pee.  I was afraid last time we went out that a tree would fall on us but it waited until we got in.  I guess there’s a clear spot for me to walk them in now. smile

We have a website that shows all damage to our township and also all neighbors are on a email list.  I just found out that a big tree just came down farther down the street so now I am blocked in and won’t be able to get out until the trees are removed.  My husband moved his car out of the neighborhood to an area with smaller trees earlier this evening but I said I wanted to leave my car in the garage.  So at least we will have one car for awhile.

October 29, 10:26 pm | [comment link]
48. Karen B. wrote:

I need to sign off very soon. It’s nearing 2 a.m. in my time zone…
I just posted the following at Lent & Beyond.  PLEASE join me in praying for our first responders tonight!!

I’m out of words tonight.  I’ve been blogging extensively here and on other sites about Hurricane Sandy since Friday when I became aware of how historic and severe the storm was likely to be.  I’m sad that my extreme concern was not off base, but has proven to be warranted and that we are watching a terrible natural disaster unfold before our eyes.

And even though the storm has made landfall, the worst will not be over for many many hours yet.  Tropical storm force winds are predicted to continue in many areas for more than 24 hours, and the record storm surge flooding we’re seeing all over the region will not recede quickly with such winds continuing to push them ashore.

While I’ve been focusing alot (for instance in my comments at TitusOneNine) on the NYC area (because that’s where the media is focused, and where the news is available)  I’m actually most concerned right now for some of the areas we’re NOT hearing from on the Jersey Shore (Atlantic City, Brigantine, Point Pleasant…), Long Island, Connecticut,  Delaware…

A little while ago I was reading some of the tweets from the Ham Radio Emergency Response network.  They’re talking of fires, water rescues on Coney Island, people stranded in Brooklyn, a response vehicle overturned while trying to rescue someone on Fire Island, etc. etc.

Tonight as I get ready to close down my computer, I would urge people to pray for first responders and emergency officials.

I’m too tired (it’s nearly 2 am in my time zone) to write an original prayer, but I’ve adapted a prayer I found online:

Father in Heaven,
Please make [our first responders and emergency officials] strong when others are weak,
brave when others are afraid
and vigilant when others are distracted by the chaos.
Provide comfort and companionship to their families when they must be away.
Serve beside them and protect them, as they seek to protect others.

[by the Rev. Robert A Crutchfield. found here]

See also here for another prayer.

Too tired to make the URLs work in the comment here.  You can see my post at L&B here:

October 29, 10:48 pm | [comment link]
49. Catholic Mom wrote:

Just got a message from our police:

“Our 911 is overwhelmed with calls, trees into houses everywhere, other towns are down, we have their overflow
we are unable to answer calls unless we have an extreme emergency. The winds and the tree danger have grounded all units.”

October 29, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
50. Karen B. wrote:

live audio of NY FD Scanner if you want to listen to calls for rescue and pray accordingly.  One friend who was listening in (I haven’t been) says apparently lots of people trapped in elevators in Manhattan

October 29, 11:01 pm | [comment link]
51. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

The BBC has been updating us and has some useful links and a number of other links to live feeds and so on at the top.  I expect US news services do the same.

Prayers continue.

October 29, 11:32 pm | [comment link]
52. Karen B. wrote:

Morning all.  I’m back online after about 3 hours of sleep, finally tearing myself away from the computer when I could stay awake no longer…

I’ve been skimming the live feed from the BBC News World Headlines, which is my home page.  Reading of some horrible things, including a levee breaking in New Jersey, with Reuters reporting that the towns of Moonachie, Little Ferry and Carlstadt in northern New Jersey have been flooded with 4-5ft (1.2m to 1.5m) of water.

And also a MASSIVE fire in Queens destroying 50 houses or more…

It’s almost impossible to comprehend what this storm is going to mean for the NY Metro area and the East Coast, and what the losses and cost will be.

October 30, 7:49 am | [comment link]
53. Karen B. wrote:

Here’s a nice link - has some of the “records” broken by Sandy, as well as some updated facts:;_id=14162&zcode=z4641&zip=20876&Units=0&rnd=102920122217-14162

32 wave was recorded in NY Harbor!  A record.
Currently 7.3 million people known to be without power.

October 30, 9:53 am | [comment link]
54. Catholic Mom wrote:

Power is back on.

Notwithstanding that our street was not blocked (because it’s a giant cul-du-sac) the township saw fit to show up at 5 am and shove the massive oak tree out of the road onto our property, completely snapping in half and destroying one of our maple trees and ripping up a section of the driveway.  Today is my younger son’s 10th birthday.  When he woke up and saw what happened to the maple he burst into tears and said “I loved that tree.”  Of course, we (by which I mean me, who is even more upset) are trying to grasp that we are all alive and well and things could have been much worse.    On the upside, there will be very few leaves to rake up in my front yard next fall. smile

October 30, 9:56 am | [comment link]
55. Milton Finch wrote:

Catholic Mom, maybe you can have your son make a cross out of some small limb of the Maple that he can remember it by.

October 30, 11:12 am | [comment link]
56. Catholic Mom wrote:

You are making me cry.  I actually may try this but right now what remains of the maple (nothing) cannot even be seen under the huge oak that they pushed on top of it.

October 30, 11:36 am | [comment link]
57. Milton Finch wrote:

God bless you, Catholic Mom.  May the lamp that is your generator miraculously never run out of fuel.

October 30, 12:21 pm | [comment link]
58. Catholic Mom wrote:

Well, I’m hoping to improve my karma by doing a good deed. smile

I stood in line starting at 4 am on Friday to get a backup generator at Home Depot.  We have a 3,000 watt yamaha but we really need two for maximum peak if we run both super-size sump pumps at the same time, which we needed to do in Irene. [Never had to do that before so didn’t know.]  We didn’t have a 2nd generator, which is why we got damaged in Irene.  So of course my husband hasn’t gotten a second one since then, although he has said constantly that he was going to get around to it.  So I got a 5,000 watt home depot model on Friday as backup, but it really wasn’t what we wanted in terms of size, noise etc.  So I left it still in the box just sitting in our garage as insurance.  Didn’t need to run the pumps at ALLyesterday (not a drop of water in the sump) and just used the Yamaha when the power went out last night.  I remember how desperately we were looking for a backup generator in Irene—tried to get up to CT to get one from a friend.  So I decided to list this one on Craigslist now rather than return to Home Depot next weekend.  Craigslist is full of speculators selling generators for 2 and 3 times the price.  I listed it for what I bought it for.  Got three calls in 5 minutes, then I took the ad down.  Guy came from Freehold.  Has been calling all over the tri-state area.  He said a guy had driven out to Ohio and filled up his truck with generators and was sitting in front of the Home Depot in Freehold (which is closed due to no power) and was selling them out of his truck for 3 times the markup.  So he was incredibly happy to get this one—at cost and with the receipt, so under warrantee.  Now it will probably start to rain. smile  Sometimes I think if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. smile

October 30, 1:04 pm | [comment link]
59. Catholic Mom wrote:

Just went over to visit our neighbors.  They are Swiss.  They came here a year and a half ago.  He is at Princeton University and is involved in meteorology and hydrology.  I told him when they moved in that if he is interested in weather and water, he is in the right place, although he may get more of it than he bargained for.  I think in Switzerland the only natural phenomena you have to worry about is maybe stampeding goat herds or something. smile

They heard our tree fall last night.  Then shortly after, a huge oak right on the edge of their property on the other side from us fell down across their driveway.  At this point they got so scared they were afraid to go upstairs so they all slept under the dining room table.  Don’t know if they’ve been able to get through to SwissAir to book those return tickets yet. smile

October 30, 1:57 pm | [comment link]
60. Karen B. wrote:

ABCNews NY is doing excellent coverage

Extensive flooding of Brooklyn Battery tunnel and Lincoln tunnel.
Extensive flooding of LaGuardia airport.. likely won’t reopen for a few days,  Newark too sounds like there was flooding.  JFK is hoped to open tomorrow.

October 30, 2:11 pm | [comment link]
62. Katherine wrote:

Wow, I should have been over here yesterday.  I am fascinated by hurricanes.  Catholic Mom, I grieve for your trees but rejoice in your safety.  Hope the others who posted here are also all right today.

The damage in the NY area from all that salt water means this mess will last for a long time.  I haven’t yet seen any reports of deaths from the fire in NY—I hope those people were all rescued.

October 30, 5:24 pm | [comment link]
63. Catholic Mom wrote:

You can see a photo here.  [“Team Rat” relates to our whippet racing.]

October 30, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
64. Katherine wrote:

That was indeed a majestic tree.  What a loss.  What a joy that Team Rat is alive and healthy to sit on it.  Heck of a way to get a bench for the front garden, though.

October 30, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
65. Catholic Mom wrote:

We just won back-to-back meets down in Delaware (pretty much right where the hurricane made land) on Saturday and Sunday.  We’ve been the “bridesmaid” many times, but this was the first time we won the whole meet, and we did it two days in a row!  So we were kind of on a high.  Then we came home on Sunday night (we had to be out of where we were racing by 4 pm because they were evacuating the area) and spent the rest of the day getting ready for the hurricane and then got hit on Monday night.  So it’s been a mixed few days. smile  Right now we’re celebrating #2’s son birthday—with pizza because almost all restaurants around here are without power.  Our neighborhood (and local pizza place) seem to be a little island of power in a vast sea of no power.  My mom lives in an assisted living facility about 5 miles south of here and they are running on generator power.  So great that I don’t have to worry about her in all this.  Went out on Rt. 1 today to drive over there and check on her and there were only two gas stations with power.  The cars were backed up about 500 feet down the highway trying to get gas.  All the traffic lights were out and they were doing “4 way stop” rules to determine the right of way.  OK during the day, but probably pretty dangerous after dark.

October 30, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
66. Karen B. wrote:

Per Chris Christie live press conference 7:15 p.m. EDT
only 6 confirmed fatalities in NJ - quite amazingly low, thankfully given the utter devastation in so many areas of the shore, etc.  Most killed by falling trees.

Over 1000 rescues in Moonachie NJ today where the Hackensack River flooded so terribly.

October 30, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
67. Karen B. wrote:

Newark Airport has power now.  Good news.

October 30, 8:32 pm | [comment link]
68. Katherine wrote:

The Long Island hurricane of 1938 killed 600-800 people.  There are so many more people living on the coastline now, and so many fewer deaths this time, thanks to the forecasting and warnings.  In the midst of all the distress let us give thanks for the many who did not die.

On Saturday I told our daughter in suburban northern Virginia to get some cash and fill up her gas tank.  Always a good idea before a big storm.

October 30, 8:46 pm | [comment link]
69. Karen B. wrote:

New entry at Lent & Beyond - praying for those facing “monumental troubles” in the aftermath of the storm (from Scotty Smith’s blog, Heavenward)

October 30, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
70. Karen B. wrote:

Highrises in lower Manhattan with no water because they have no electricity to pump water from the mains into the upper floors and water tank…

Handicapped and elderly who can’t negotiate stairs…
And of course those who depend on oxygen or specialize medical equipment that needs power…

I’m used to power outages from my life here in Africa, but life without power in a highrise… that’s a totally different thing.  Scary.

October 30, 9:34 pm | [comment link]
71. Cennydd13 wrote:

Well, I’m relieved at the news that the Central New York are…..the Mohawk Valley…..pretty much dodged the bullet, but it was bad enough just the same.  My prayers go out to everyone.

October 30, 10:25 pm | [comment link]
72. Catholic Mom wrote:

Just saw on the local website that someone three miles from here was killed by a falling tree last night.  A lot of people went out in the storm to check damage.    I went out to walk the dogs (for 60 seconds) , which was insane, but I didn’t know what else to do.

October 30, 10:31 pm | [comment link]
73. Karen B. wrote:

Just read this quote on an NBC news story about the storm’s devastaion:

‘Like a tsunami’
On New York’s Coney Island, Mordechai Deutscher recalled watching floodwaters burst through the glass front doors of the Mermaid Manor Home for Adults, about two blocks from the famed boardwalk. Residents had been evacuated to upper floors.

“Everything was fine and dandy yesterday until high tide,” said Deutscher, 58, administrator of the home two blocks from the famed boardwalk. “All of a sudden within five minutes it was like a tsunami.”

On one hand, that comment frustrated me.  I wanted to shout “DUH, that’s what storm surge IS.  What did you THINK it would be when the NHC and others warned of life-threatening storm-surge?!”  But of course then I realized how rare storm surge events have been in the northeast.

So… On the bright side, we now have millions of people in the northeast who understand storm surge.  Certainly that will help in the future as NHC and other emergency officials try to warn about storms and their dangers.

Also not too many in the NY Metro area are likely to be as complacent about storms in the future and say “oh it’s just a Cat 1” anytime soon.  They have learned the hard way that a storm’s “category” does not say or mean much about its very SPECIFIC risks and dangers for a particular area.

Even Mayor Bloomberg has now learned a very important lesson about storm surge.  Look at his terrible and misleading comments from his Saturday press conference (about 18 hours before he FINALLY ordered evacuations on Sunday.  Thank God he DID finally order those evacuations!)

On Sat. afternoon Bloomberg said:

“President Obama asked Craig Fugate from FEMA to call me earlier in the day and offer any help. I assured him that we had, we think, everything under control but we appreciate the effort. What FEMA really can do is to help those parts of the country that don’t have all of the extensive facilities and agencies and practice that New York City does. But I did want to thank them for their offer.

[...] So if things are the way it’s planned and if everybody does what they’re supposed to do, we will get through this very nicely and look back on it and say maybe we can offer some help to other parts of the area upstate or below us, south of us, which might get hit a lot harder.

“The trajectory says that the storm will hit a little bit south of us, the Maryland/Delaware area. [...]

Let me tell you first we are not ordering any evacuations as of this time for any parts of the city. We’re making that decision based on the nature of the storm.

Although we’re expecting a large surge of water, it is not expected to be a tropical storm or hurricane-type surge. With this storm, we’ll likely see a slow pileup of water rather than a sudden surge, which is what you would expect with a hurricane, and which we saw with Irene 14 months ago.”

Those words had thousands of us hurricane geeks who understood the danger of this storm howling in disbelief anger at our TVs and computers… at his cockiness and his totally WRONG information about storm surge!!!  It was such a terribly dangerous thing to be telling the NY population!

Thankfully, the loss of life in storm-surge flooding seems to have been quite low so far.  More of the fatalities seem to be from downed trees.  BUT not all of the hardest-hit areas have been fully searched yet, and I do expect storm-surge flooding death totals will rise, unfortunately.

The NHC saying about how to protect yourself in a hurricane is true:  Run from the water, hide from the wind…

October 31, 9:45 am | [comment link]
74. Karen B. wrote:

I should note a P.S. to my comment #73 - the forecast for the storm for the NY area did NOT change between Saturday when Bloomberg made those comments and Sunday when he ordered the evacuations or Monday when the storm hit.  [Bloomberg initially completely misunderstood the nature of the storm and the implications of a storm taking a hard left turn into the NJ, coast, allowing the winds from the south to push a massive storm surge north into NY Harbor, Raritan Bay and Long Island Sound.  It would have been BETTER from a storm surge perspective if the storm had made a direct hit on NYC.]

Anyone who says “it was worse than forecast” is dead wrong.  One miracle in this storm is that the forecast models absolutely NAILED this storm - its path, its intensity, the nearly unprecedented “merging” of a hurricane and northeaster, AND the storm surge for New York and other areas almost 5 days before it hit.

That is just astounding.  In 13 years of very closely following hurricanes and tropical weather via the internet, I’ve never seen a forecast that was this accurate so early.  Thanks be to God for the warnings all the meteorologists gave!!

October 31, 10:06 am | [comment link]
75. Karen B. wrote:

How terrible to see that the devastation increases - NJ shore towns that are suffering widespread fires because of natural gas leaks.  TRAGIC.

October 31, 11:30 am | [comment link]
76. Catholic Mom wrote:

Photo taken at the Princeton Theological Seminary today.  The slab of concrete lifted up by the tree is about 10 inches thick.  That is some wind!

October 31, 3:39 pm | [comment link]
77. Karen B. wrote:

ABC News NY - their helicopter was able to fly today.  There are lots of aerial videos of the devastation, of the Jersey Shore, etc.

October 31, 5:18 pm | [comment link]
78. In Texas wrote:

The sail boats piled up everywhere, with some stranded up on roads, reminded me of what my area (lived in Clear Lake, Seabrook TX) looked like after Ike.  Besides homes near the shore being demolished from the storm surge and waves, seeing sail boats sitting by the road, some piled up on each other was very strange.  Also, you could go by a marina and see one boat still floating, and others on each side completely submurged with only the mast sticking out.  I also get irritated when I hear “It’s only a Cat 1”, by definition ANY hurricane is dangerous.

October 31, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
79. TheRevDrAGFouts wrote:

Recently returned from a trip delivering bottled water to Weehawken and Hoboken. Simply turning right at the bottom of the overpass leading into lower Weehawken and Hoboken brought me face to face with neighborhoods where the residents were on the sidewalks with all their belongings. In downtown Hoboken, normally vibrant streets with bistros galore were dark and full of young professionals looking for places to shower or eat while dragging suitcases, National Guardsmen, and tired police and firemen. Sailboat perched on the riverwalk which is such a feature of the towns.  The water I brought was gone in a flash.  Grace, Union City sits on the Palisades above the water but even high ground does not protect from loss of power. Thank God there was little rain!

October 31, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
80. SC blu cat lady wrote:

From a friend in the NYC area via FB.
Staten Island’s streets are under water. Lower Manhattan also. All of the areas near the water are in bad shape Long island too. They are saying 10 days to get power back, its a huge mess. Numerous wires and trees down. All of our beaches north and south shore are destroyed, many have lost their homes to flooding and fire. Previously in another message, she had mentioned that 90% of Long Island is without power. Our friends are very fortunate- They have electricity.

October 31, 11:30 pm | [comment link]
81. Katherine wrote:

I second Karen B’s #74.  This storm has a very peculiar predicted track—first a hard left turn, and then a right turn.  It did exactly what they said it would.  There is some talk of having to modify the Category 1-5 system, because often, as in this case, it’s the size of the storm and where the storm surge is being pushed which is more important than the wind speeds.  Forecasters were saying three days out or more that the NY-NJ shores would be severely affected.  They were correct.

November 1, 9:57 am | [comment link]
82. TheRevDrAGFouts wrote:

FYI - diesel fuel for back up generators is in short supply. Pompton Lakes is asking its residents to conserve water to prolong the supply as generators being used to power the local utility have a limited supply of fuel.

November 1, 11:02 pm | [comment link]
83. Formerly Marion R. wrote:

Street is open now. Just found wifi. We have water and natural gas so, oddly, we can take hot showers. No power, telecom, etc. Found gas at 4am this morning.

November 2, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
84. Katherine wrote:

#83, this is tough.  Good to know you’ve got the basics, anyhow, and aren’t injured.

November 2, 7:44 pm | [comment link]
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