Hurricane Sandy made landfall Monday, October 29, 2012 and for most states in the Northeast the impacts are the worst anyone has ever seen from any weather system. New Jersey in particular, my home state, barred some of the worst impacts leaving many shore communities underwater and making downtown Atlantic City look like Canal Street in downtown New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (yes, I said it, minus the looting). A local New Orleans blogger gave some tips to the Northeast on how to deal with power outages and how to deal with clean up; you can read the humorous post here.
In a nutshell, the storm paralyzed major transportation systems in NYC, DC, and Philadelphia, at least 80 homes burned in a NY neighborhood, West Virginia mountains had two-three feet of snow, and many beach communities had boardwalks, piers, and storefront properties that were devastated. Just this morning, a levee breach flooded three communities in northern New Jersey, one of those communities just ten minutes from my family. My family is ok, but most don’t have power. There have been 26 U.S. deaths from the storm to date.
It’s good to see that federal and state assistance has been released to a few states for disaster clean up. Eight counties in NJ have been declared as disaster sites, and the NJ Turnpike is only open at exits 1-10. The NIEHS, a branch under NIH, offers some of the best emergency response tools for the public and first responders after hurricanes, they can be found here.
The timing is just one week before the national presidential election, and Obama’s response to the storm has been applauded so far. He has been in engaged in active communication with Northeast governors and mayors. There’s much that could be said to the severity of the storm and what it says about human induced climate change, but for now I won’t go there. For now my thoughts are with my family in NJ, the millions without power and damaged homes across the affected states, the safety of the first responders who protect us, and to rebuilding communities affected by the storm. Cheers.