Floods and power outages: Sandy strikes Northeast
On Monday, Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy unleashed colossal devastation on the northeast United States. The storms produced mass power outages, homelessness, and even death.
“Everyone on my mom and dad’s side has been without power due to Sandy,” said Danielle Duffy, assistant athletic trainer from New Jersey. “They have no real clue when it will be restored. My cousin lost her home and her car due to flood damage.”
According to The New York Times, the mammoth and merciless hurricane made landfall near Atlantic City around 8 p.m. with maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour, as calculated by the National Hurricane Center. More than two million residents of New Jersey and Connecticut were without power as of 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday Oct. 30. Many famous landmarks were damaged; crashing waves claimed an old, 50-foot piece of Atlantic City’s world-famous Boardwalk.
A New York power supplier, Consolidated Edison, reported as of 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday Oct. 30 that 634,000 customers in New York City and Westchester County had no power. Consolidated Edison, fearing damage to its electrical equipment, shut down power pre-emptively in sections of Lower Manhattan on Monday evening. An unplanned failure knocked out power to an additional 250,000 customers, and later, an explosion at a substation knocked out power to another 250,000 customers.
Similar outages occurred in Philadelphia.
“Some of my family who live in the suburbs lost power and are not sure of the exact date they will have it back,” said senior Ali Krantzler, a Philadelphia native. “Family and friends have told me there was high wind and some flooding on smaller streets. If we lived closer to the shore, it (the hurricane) would have had a greater impact.”
The impact was also felt at the gas pumps. The power outages led to extensive lines at the pumps. The few stations that had power ran out of gas, adding to the frustration of many residents.
As bad as the storm was, it could have been much worse.
“It seems very bad now,” said Dave Dobson, associate professor of geology. “The hurricane hit a very populated area, but had much less loss of life and physical damage, compared to Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. These storms also produced much more financial damage, compared to Sandy.”
Dobson believes global warming worsened Sandy’s effects.
“You can’t blame global warming for one storm, because there have been bad storms in the past,” Dobson said. “But we do know that the oceans are warming and hurricanes are generated in hot ocean water. So there is no question that global warming made Sandy worse.”
The recovery from Sandy’s devastation has already begun. President Obama has supported victims of Sandy’s impact with aid from the federal government and the Red Cross, as well as promoted state and local involvement. Despite the cancellation of the official New York City Marathon, 1,300 runners ran their own marathon and donated supplies to Staten Island as they ran, according to TIME.com.
“I hope that the silver linings of this horrible time will shine through and make people less hesitant to tell people how they truly feel about them,” said Duffy, looking toward the future with an optimistic lens.
He continued, “(And) to venture outside of their everyday bubble with everyday struggles, and care about what is happening in other parts of the country with people just like us.”
Individuals interested in contributing to the hurricane relief effort may contact the following agencies:
American Red Cross
Brooklyn Recovery Fund
Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
United Way Sandy Recovery Fund