Hurricane Sandy: My Dad’s Story

Good afternoon everyone,

As promised, I will relay my dad’s story about Hurricane Sandy from his perspective. He lives in Mid-town Manhattan, about 0.75 miles inland from the eastern edge of the Island. Now, onto the story.

As you all know, Sandy made landfall around Atlantic City on Monday, October 29th around 8PM EST. Now, my dad told me that around 4PM, things weren’t really all that bad in NYC and that many people were actually down watching the waves on the eastern shore at that time. He went down to take a look as well and said that the water at that time was at least a foot below the seawall. There were police officers there that were telling people to leave and that a curfew was in effect. They were told to return to their homes for the night.

The winds really picked up after 8 or 9 PM that night and the surge and coastal flooding were significant. This storm did a number on NYC. The next morning, my dad was able to get out of the apartment for a little while and the damage he saw was unbelievable. He lives about 3 blocks from the Con Edison Power Plant and he ventured down to try and get an idea of when the power would be back on. He overheard a police officer talking to one of the ConEd workers and the worker said that the entire lower levels of the plant were flooded with over 4 feet of water. The man thought that power might not be returned to customers for over a week. Fortunately, power was back on within 4 days.

After that, he decided to head back to where he was the day before, down by the eastern shore and the damage was very bad. In NYC, 1st Avenue is about 0.25 miles inland from the eastern shore. My dad tells me that he saw cars moved all the way up to 1st Avenue. Many were smashed and packed together and many of the wooden piers from the edge of the shoreline were on top of the cars. One man, whose Mustang is in the picture that I posted, said that he hadn’t even parked his car near where it ended up. He’d parked it almost 100 yards from where it was that morning. To make matters worse, two large wooden piers were on top of his Mustang, in effect, totaling his car. That can give witness to the tremendous power of water. In fact, just one foot of moving water can sweep you off your feet.

This storm wasn’t bad for the rainfall in NYC, but for the high winds and coastal flooding and storm surge that it brought with it. There are many other stories, but my dad’s is just one of them. NYC will need to be better prepared for coastal flooding and surge in the future, or it could be much worse next time this happens.

For next time, I will talk about the Blizzard unfolding in the Northern Plains and the unseasonably mild weather for the Midwest this weekend.

Until then, stay tuned.

Meteorologist Mack

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