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#253532 - 11/18/12 10:55 PM Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll
Doug_Ritter Offline

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Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 2180
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/17/nyregion/hurricane-sandy-map.html?emc=eta1

Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll

At last count, officials were attributing more than 100 deaths to Hurricane Sandy. Some patterns emerged in mapping the deaths in the region. Elderly residents were hit especially hard, with close to half of the people who died age 65 or older. In New York City, the majority of deaths occurred in Queens and on Staten Island, and most people perished at the height of the storm, drowned by the surge.

In more inland areas, downed trees were more often the cause of death. The days after the storm were also deadly, as people tried to clear away storm damage or used poorly ventilated generators to ward off the dark and the cold.
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#253539 - 11/19/12 12:43 AM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: ]
Arney Offline
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Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Yeah, lots of drownings. Very sad. Probably few of them ever expected the water to be so high or swift in their neighborhood. I wouldn't be surprised if none of them had ever seen flooding in their neighborhood before, no matter how long they have lived there.

The past ten years, including the 3/11 quake in Japan, has reinforced in me that historical records are not upper limits on how bad things can get or how often they can happen. Especially with events weather-related, once-a-century events seem to happen with increasing frequency nowadays.

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#253543 - 11/19/12 05:23 AM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: Doug_Ritter]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
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Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7705
Loc: southern Cal
How many of these fatalities occurred in areas that were under mandatory evacuation orders as the storm approached?
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#253544 - 11/19/12 07:55 AM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Ian Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 198
Loc: Scotland
Sandy also killed many in other countries too. They also count.

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#253546 - 11/19/12 12:49 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: Doug_Ritter]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Most were so easily preventable, by simply evacuating and having minimal supplies. What a shame.

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#253548 - 11/19/12 04:27 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: gonewiththewind]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 900
Loc: NW NJ
A quick glance revealed a lot of reports of people found drowned in their basements. Sounds like they were hiding from the wind when the water got them.
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#253549 - 11/19/12 05:40 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Besides the water, a whole lot of people were struck by falling trees or wind-driven tree limbs, too.

And a number of falls down stairs in the dark. I wonder if those people even had flashlights? Granted, most were elderly, so it's hard to say whether visibility was the main factor or not.

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#253554 - 11/19/12 08:20 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: hikermor]
DesertFox Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/04/07
Posts: 339
Loc: New York, NY
I don't have the figures but there was flooding in Evacuation Zone B, which was predicted to need evacuation only in the case of Class 2 or 3 hurricanes. The Mayor called for a mandatory evacuation in Zone A only(flooding in Class 1 hurricanes).

The combination of high tide, full moon and hurricane made the tidal surge much higher than anticipated. Undoubtedly, some in Zone B were caught off guard.

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#253555 - 11/19/12 09:17 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: DesertFox]
AKSAR Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1228
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: DesertFox
I don't have the figures but there was flooding in Evacuation Zone B, which was predicted to need evacuation only in the case of Class 2 or 3 hurricanes. The Mayor called for a mandatory evacuation in Zone A only(flooding in Class 1 hurricanes).

The combination of high tide, full moon and hurricane made the tidal surge much higher than anticipated. Undoubtedly, some in Zone B were caught off guard.
It turns out that maximum wind speed (the Category 1..2...etc scale) is not the only important variable for predicting storm surge. There is a better metric called "Integrated Kinetic Energy" (IKE) which takes into account not only wind speed, but the area over which those winds blow. I posted a couple of links about this over on the "Lessons from Hurricane Sandy" thread, but will re-post one link here.

According hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy at Superstorm Sandy packed more total energy than Hurricane Katrina at landfall:

Quote:
It has been demonstrated time and time again that the storm surge generated by a hurricane is not very well correlated with the storm’s intensity or peak winds, but rather the storm’s size - which the IKE metric captures. The area over which strong winds blow across the ocean is strongly related to the resulting storm surge potential.

Although Sandy was only about Category 1 at landfall, the large area the storm covered made for a much bigger storm surge than would have been predicted based only on wind speed.


Edited by AKSAR (11/19/12 09:19 PM)
Edit Reason: fixed my bad spelling
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#253559 - 11/19/12 11:33 PM Re: Mapping Hurricane Sandy’s Deadly Toll [Re: Doug_Ritter]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

I call your attention to the 1938 hurricane. My dad lived thru it, he was 12. The storm literally reshaped the coast line in many places.

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