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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FRANKENSTORM SANDY: THE AFTERMATH

Hurricane Sandy began as a tropical wave in the Caribbean on October 19.  She reached Category 2 status after passing Cuba, leaving 65 dead at that point.  This was said to be the largest hurricane ever in diameter at 1100 milwa, although Donna could have been larger in the Atlantic, and Typhoon Tip in the Pacific was measured at 1380 miles, the distance from Los Angeles to Houston.  While not any more a hurricane, the storm is now slowly moving mostly north and causing more damage.  


A storm is a hurricane when cyclonic with constant winds of at least 74 MPH.  Category 2 begins at 96 MPH.  Wind gusts of more than 80 MPH were experienced as far north as Rhode Island.  Mount Washington (6288 feet) in New Hampshire recorded a peak of 140 MPH, but this is nothing compared to a 1934 reading of 231 MPH.

Sandy was not the most damaging storm ever, for that was Katrina at more than $100 billion (in 1926 hurricane "Miami" caused damages exceeding $150 billion--these early storms are generally not included in comparative assessments).  However, now already making the list at $25 billion, the expectation is an ultimate cost of as much as $45 billion, which would overtake #2 Ike at $37.6 billion.

Eight and a half million households lost power, and the blackout remains at 6PM eastern daylight (remember, you need set your clock back an hour on Saturday night) time for more than 6 million.  The power loss for Hurricane Irene was about the same.  

There were more than 100 deaths, 65 in the Caribbean and at least 50 in the U.S.   Haiti experienced 54 fatalities.

Up to 3 feet of snow fell on parts of West Virginia and Maryland, there was up to a foot of rain, waves on Lake Michigan exceeded 20 feet, and the storm surge rose to a highest ever 14 feet over Battery Park, crippling the subway system.   There is no word on when the subways normally carrying 8.5 million per day will begin full service.  Limited travel has already begun and there is no charge at this time.

 Tunnels connecting the city to New Jersey and Brooklyn are still closed, but the bridges are all operating.  Opening night for the NBA Brooklyn Nets at their new Barclays Center was postponed:


But the New York Marathon, with maybe not quite 50,000 participants, will be run on Sunday:


New Jersey and New York are on the road to recovery with an expected $35 billion of restoration funds.  Even Governor Chris Christie (R-New Jersey), a key supporter of Mitt Romney, publicly thanked President Barack Obama (D-USA) for the personal call and federal assistance.  It sometimes takes a monumental crisis for people to work together.

callisThe star of the hurricane crisis, in my mind, is Lydia Callis (left).  You need to watch her stealing the show from Mayor Bloomberg.  He also has a second sign-language lady who is almost as good.  They are the viral treats.

Finally, if you see people in scary costumes, this is just Halloween.  Perfect for my annual quota of Monster Mash.  Very high fidelity, indeed, but the following is more entertaining.  Here is Bobby Boris Picket, who co-wrote this song in 1962 (which became #1 in the country just before Halloween that year).  This was the during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and I kind of associate one with the other.  Can you believe that was half a century ago?

Halloween Honolulu featured a nice sunset:


With a spectacular Green Flash at the end.  Next, I'll someday show you what this looks like.

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