Monday night saw Hurricane Sandy make landfall in New Jersey after days of heavy rains and slow progress up the Mid-Atlantic. While not as horrific as past hurricanes — owing to the intricate workings of what makes a storm a hurricane and what makes a hurricane a storm — Hurricane Sandy has left millions reeling from its impact.
Still a Hurricane at Landfall
According to NASA Hurricane Sandy was still a hurricane after it made landfall.
On Oct. 29, 2012 at 11 p.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Sandy was just 10 miles (15 km) southwest of Philadelphia, Penn., near 39.8 North and 75.4 West. Sandy was still a hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph (120 kph) and moving northwest at 18 mph (30 kph). Sandy’s minimum central pressure had risen to 952 millibars. The hurricane-force-winds extended 90 miles (150 km) east of the center of circulation. Tropical-storm-force winds, however, went much further, as far as 485 miles (780 km).
In a storm as widespread and devastating as Hurricane Sandy the chance of death was too high to hope for good news. Numerous reports have detailed the horrific loss of life, with figures coming in at just under 50 dead across the U.S. and Canada.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reported that the New York death toll had reached 18, including an off-duty police officer who drowned after rescuing seven members of his family; two young boys who were killed when a 90-foot-tree careened into the family room of a house in North Salem; and the stories continue to become apparent.
MSNBC detailed a portion of the devastation;
- Forty-six people had been killed in the U.S., 23 of them in New York — including 18 in New York City, NBC News reported. Six people had been killed in New Jersey, as well as five in Pennsylvania; four in Connecticut; two apiece in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia; and one each in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. Before it made its way north, Sandy was blamed for 68 other deaths in the Caribbean.
- More than 6.6 million homes and businesses were without electricity, about two-thirds of them in New York and New Jersey. That number represents individual structures, including large businesses, meaning the number of people without light, heat or refrigeration is likely much higher.
- The New York region’s airports were closed Tuesday. JFK International and Newark Liberty will open early Wednesday and offer limited service; LaGuardia will remain closed “due to extensive damage,” Cuomo said. More than 18,000 flights had been canceled, while Amtrak canceled all of its Northeast Corridor rail service Tuesday, in addition to some other lines.
- Subway service was unlikely to resume for four to five days, Bloomberg said, but free bus service had resumed on a Saturday schedule, and about 4,000 cabs were running on city streets. PATH train service between Manhattan and New Jersey is likely to be suspended for seven to 10 days, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said.
- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the South Ferry subway station was “flooded up to the ceiling,” while each tube of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel — better known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel — was filled with 43 million gallons of water.
- At least four towns in north New Jersey were submerged by up to 6 feet of water after a levee broke.
- A half-dozen nuclear power plants were shut down or otherwise affected, while the nation’s oldest facility declared a rare “alert” after the record storm surge pushed flood waters high enough to endanger a key cooling system.
- Major U.S. stock exchanges were closed Tuesday for a second day, but they planned to reopen Wednesday.
Hurricane Sandy in Talking Points
“I don’t think it’s any secret, but Sandy hit us very hard; it was a storm of historic intensity,” said Michael Bloomberg in a press release on Tuesday. “But New Yorkers are resilient and we have seen an enormous outpouring of support from people eager to volunteer, donate and help out.”
“Today was a bit of a day of sorrow for a lot of people,” Christie said Tuesday night after touring the Jersey Shore. “As long as sorrow does not displace resilience, then we’ll be just fine.” Christie also addressed the role President Obama has played, despite their party opposition. “If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics,” Christie told Fox News on Tuesday, “then you don’t know me.”
Much of the East Coast is currently without power in the wake of the devastating power that swept through the region. Latest updates put the figures in at 7.9 million customers across the Mid-Atlantic States and New England without power.
CBS News Outlined the Outages
Delaware and Maryland
Delmarva reports more than 42,000 customers lost power.
BGE reports more than 160,000 customers are still without power.
PEPCO had at least 11,000 customers without power.
More than 50,000 outages were reported by Mon Power and Potomac Edison.
NStar reported more than 162,000 outages.
National Grid says more than 210,000 customers had lost power.
DTE reports about 110,000 customers without power. CMS reports about 3,900 customers are affected.
National Grid says about 11,600 customers are without power.
Public Service Electric & Gas, which is tweeting outage information, says at least 1.4 million customers are offline. Jersey Central Power & Light, which publishes map of outages, is reporting more than 969,000 homes lost power.Atlantic City Electric has more than 184,000 customers without power.
National Grid says nearly 16,000 customers are without service.
First Energy reports more than 238,000 customers reported blackouts.
Peco in southeastern Pennsylvania was reporting more than 585,000 customers affected.
FirstEnergy was reporting more than 213,000 customers were without power.
National Grid says more than 163,000 customers had lost power.
Green Mountain Power reports more than 7,200 customers affected.
Dominion Virginia says more than 76,000 customers were without service.
From everyone at the Important Media Network, we wish those affected by the storm and particularly those affected by loss our heartfelt sympathies. For more information on the storm, regional efforts and national efforts, please visit NOAA’s Hurricane Sandy Storm Central page.