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jca's avatar

What do you think of all the Hurricane Sandy photos that are all over the news? Does the amount of water and damage boggle your mind?

Asked by jca (29307 points ) October 29th, 2012

I am safely in a hotel in Massachusetts, and have not turned on TV or computer all day. I just turned on the computer and looked at a bunch of photos that my friends posted on FB. Mind-boggling photos of the water and destruction, don’t you think? Not to sound silly but I am totally blown away!

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22 Answers

Judi's avatar

It looked like it was going to be a monster. I don’t understand why people don’t evacuate when they are told to.

Judi's avatar

@bookish1 , Holy Crap!! That looks bigger than Katrina!!

YARNLADY's avatar

I have been in a hurricane and in floods before. The news always shows the very worst parts. It’s usually not nearly as bad as they make out.

Judi's avatar

Except it hey said (I think) 13 people have died already. That’s pretty bad.

Bellatrix's avatar

I hope all our Jellies are okay. I am at work and have only just had chance to look at the photos and it looks pretty bad. I hope everyone is safe and well. Don’t drive through flood waters!

YARNLADY's avatar

@Judi Yes, people die in storms, but it kind of makes me wonder how many people would have died in traffic that day if there was no rain.

Seek's avatar

@bookish1 I remember Frances year! That was a pool party. A couple of weeks before after? that we had a beach party to watch Jeanne come in. I got in the newspaper for that one.

The thing with hurricanes is that the bigger they are (area-wise), the harder it is for the system to maintain stability, and they tend to fall apart soon after hitting land. Frances, by the time it reached me about 25 miles north of Tampa Bay, was barely a Tropical Storm.

The issue with Sandy is flooding. The gusts aren’t incredible (seriously. 85 MPH gusts aren’t that big a deal) but because it’s slow and running into an opposing front, it’s dropping a lot of rain and kicked up a bit of a storm surge.

A 13 foot storm surge in Tampa Bay isn’t too bad. Sure, all of downtown will flood and everything west of US19, but we don’t have basements here for just that reason. Our area is built to drain storm surges quickly. Can’t really say the same about the North East.

The other thing is that even here in Florida, 95% of hurricane related deaths* are completely due to someone abandoning common sense. If the water’s higher than your ankles – STAY OUT. I’m sorry if your cat got out, but it’s not worth dying for. If there are downed power lines – STAY AWAY. If your power went out – Don’t. Put. A. Gas-Burning. Generator. In Your. House. Carbon Monoxide doesn’t like you. We get a few idiots a year who off themselves that way.

*all statistics are totally my own and may or may not be accurate.

JLeslie's avatar

What @Seek_Kolinahr said is all true. A lot of times the people who die did stupid things, and often it is after the worst of the storm is over. My aunt said people were walking on the street last night outside of her apartment in NYC with flashlights around 11:00pm and some cars were driving by also. I would assume there was a curfew order on the city? Even if there wasn’t, seriously? Walking around? The only excuse is their apartment was flooded out and they were evacuating. Some people die because they need emergency services for unrelated reasons to the storm, and resvue is not allowed to answer calls.

Tornados take out 50 people in a minute (God forbid) tropical storms and hurricanes are much less lethal generally, especially considering the duration and size, but they are destructive. We all knew the scariest part of this storm was the water and the storm surge, not the wind. NYC is below sea level in many places. Water is pumped out of the city underground all year long, not just during storms. Not to say only NY had trouble with this storm, of course there are many other states and other parts of NYS that are dealing with it.

Fred931's avatar

Living on the Gulf Coast means I’ve seen plenty of “healthy”-sized hurricanes. Seeing the pressure before landfall made me jump; the category – what was it, 2, 3, 4? – Gustav that hit Texas awhile back had a pressure of 997mbar, so I knew pressure in the 950s would be hell. It sure looks like it.

And I also agree with @Seek_Kolinahr on the fact that, in many cases, the “tragedies” of storm systems are only furthering the evolution of our species.

jerv's avatar

As a former NH resident who caught the tail end of Irene, watched Alstead get washed off the map, and spent the next few months taking detours everywhere because a couple of state highways were gone, I am rather used to that sort of scene.

ucme's avatar

Makes me think of the Beach Boys, strange but true.

bookish1's avatar

@Fred931: If you want to talk about evolution, people like you and me with chronic diseases were slated to die out in a state of nature, and are being kept alive artificially.

YARNLADY's avatar

I just looked through a slide show of fake Hurricane pictures. It was really funny – things like sharks photoshopped into flooding photos.

Fred931's avatar

@bookish1 Well played.

Buttonstc's avatar

Huge portions of the Jersey shore are now only a memory. The place is more than just a stupid TV show. For any of us who’ve been there and have great memories, it’s going to be quite jarring next time we go.

And watching the houses on fire in Queens was devastating.

This is sure one time I’m glad I moved to Mich. We had no power for about 12 hrs. yesterday but that’s pretty insignificant, all told.

Any Philly Jellies around? What’s going on there ? NY seems to be getting all the main news coverage. Haven’t seen any footage of Philly at all.

ETpro's avatar

I’m 68 years old and was born in coastal Virginia. I have seen numerous hurricanes run up the Atlantic coast wreaking havoc over the area that Sandy impacted. But that was always over a period of days. This storm was simultaneously wiping out a home on Ocracoke Island on North Carolina’s barrier islands almost at the South Carolina border, and tossing ships ashore in the Canadian Maritimes. That’s a distance of over 1000 miles of coastal area simultaneously being impacted with damaging winds, rain and tidal surges. I’ve never seen anything quite like that.

Typical hurricanes release between 50 and 200 exajoules of energy per day. There’s no data on the Internet for Sandy’s energy release as it gained energy from the High Pressure off the coast of Nova Scotia and the strangely curved Arctic Jet Stream, but I suspect the Frankenstorm was releasing far more than 200 exajoules per day. To put that energy in perspective, the US uses 14 exajoules of energy per YEAR. That’s 1.4×10^19 joules, or 14,000,000,000,000,000,000 joules per year, and Sandy was grinding out something like 15 times that much energy every hour.

If you like big storms, take heart. We can’t say for certain this storm was the result of global warming. But as noted above, science does tell is that human activity appears destined to produce more frequent events like this and things continue to heat up.

jca's avatar

@ETpro: I think according to the MIT Global Warming Study, the Earth will become uninhabitable within the next 100 years due to more extreme weather, thanks to global warming.

ETpro's avatar

@jca I suspect we will learn to adapt and will finally begin to reverse some of the damage. The danger is warming hitting a tipping point where methane frozen in tundras and deep sea methane begin melting and releasing billions of metric tonnes of methane into the atmosphere. It’s a far more effective greenhouse gas than CO2 and could lead to runaway warming that would take eons to correct.

BTW, they are worrying about your safety over here. You should check in and assure everyone you survived Sandy.

jca's avatar

@ETpro: Thanks and I thanked you on the other thread! I didn’t realize my attention was needed over there, and on this occasion, I am glad to be part of a site like this with such thoughtful, compassionate people!

ETpro's avatar

@jca I’m glad you came through the super-storm in good order.

@Brian1946 You have to imagine that shark is thinking, “Where the heck am I?”

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