Hurricane Sandy, by the Numbers
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Hurricane Sandy expands, taken Sunday, October 28, at 9:00 a.m. Photo: NOAA GOES-13 Satellite
As scientists feared late last week, Hurricane Sandy has morphed into a deadly “Frankenstorm.” A warmer than average Gulf Stream allowed the hurricane to move up the coast without weakening as much as it might have with cooler sea temperatures, conditions over the North Atlantic blocked the superstorm from moving north or east and dissipating, and a cold front over the mainland is now helping to draw the storm inland. The rare combination of conditions has led the superstorm to become big and powerful. Experts fear fatalities over a large stretch of the East Coast as the storm continues to morph from a tropical hurricane into a nor'easter-hurricane hybrid. The behemoth is now moving northwest at a speed of roughly 20mph and creating tropical force winds roughly 485 miles from its center. Here's a quick look at the superstorm, by the numbers.
66: People already killed by the storm in Caribbean. “Evacuations
and Market Shutdowns as U.S. Braces for Storm,” The Associated Press
8,000: People who lost their lives when a hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, on
September 8, 1900, the deadliest hurricane yet to hit the United States. “Top 10 Worst Weather Disasters,” Discovery News
12: People who lost their lives in the Halloween nor-easter of 1991, made famous in Sebastian Junger’s book “The Perfect Storm.” That storm formed during a similar time of year when multiple weather conditions came together.
50 FEET: Wave height predicted in parts of the open ocean for the top third of all waves
produced by Sandy. That means some waves may be higher.
Buoys between North Carolina and Bermuda measured waves of roughly 40 feet on
Sunday. “Hurricane Sand an Unprecedented Force, Waves 50+ Forecast,”
81: Percentage of the New Jersey shore expected to experience beach and dune erosion.
“Sandy to Erode Many Atlantic Beaches,” Science Daily
370,000: People ordered to evacuate parts of New York City, from Coney Island
to Battery Park City, where experts predicted storm surges might range from six to 13 feet. The city also cancelled school for more than one million
students and turned the lights off in 468 subway stations. “Sharp
Warnings as Hurricane Churns In,” The New York Times
Feet of snowfall in the Appalachian Mountains from West
Virginia to Kentucky that the storm may cause. “Evacuations and Market Shutdowns
as U.S. Braces for Storm,” The Associated Press
Residential properties worth approximately $88 billion dollars that are at risk
of damage from the storm. “Evacuations and Market Shutdowns as U.S. Braces for
Storm,” The Associated Press
$80,000,000,000: Dollars of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the costliest
hurricane to hit the United States. “Top 10 Worst Weather
Disasters,” Discovery News
940 MILES: Diameter of tropical force winds, which are reaching speeds of up to 90mph. “Superstorm Sandy Intensifying, Bringing Record Storm Surges,” Weather Underground
1,560 MILES: Diameter of 12-foot high seas created by the storm. “Superstorm Sandy Intensifying, Bringing Record Storm Surges,” Weather Underground
50,000,000: People in the path of the storm. “Evacuations and Market Shutdowns as
U.S. Braces for Storm,” The Associated Press
10,000,000: People who may lose power as the storm
makes landfall on the East Coast of the United States. “Storm Gains Strength as it Churns
North,” The Associated Press
P.M. TO 10 P.M.: Expected peak danger window for the East Coast tonight as storm surges ride into urban areas during a high tide that is about five percent higher than the average high tide for the month. “Superstorm Sandy Intensifying, Bringing Record Storm Surges,” Weather Underground