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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Frankenstorm: Remembering Hurricane Sandy

Frankenstorm: Remembering Hurricane Sandy

We’re all used to seeing little ghouls and goblins in our neighborhoods at this time of year, but for residents of the Eastern United States, Canada, and the island nations of Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas, last Halloween brought a different kind of monster.

Hurricane Sandy, dubbed “Frankenstorm” by the news media, hit during Halloween week 2012, leaving behind a path of devastation and destruction thousands of miles long. While movie monsters like Jason or Freddy Krueger may keep some up at night, they’ve got nothing on the horror wrought by the Superstorm Sandy.

Not only was Sandy the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of 2012, she was also the second most economically damaging hurricane in U.S. history, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina. In addition, she was the largest Atlantic hurricane, in terms of diameter, ever recorded; at her widest point, she spanned 1,100 miles!

Sandy started as a tropical storm on October 22, strengthening to a Category 3 hurricane by the time she made landfall in Cuba hurricane three days later, on October 25th.

She weakened into a Category 1 storm as she tore through the Bahamas, then began to weaken further over the cold waters of the Atlantic, until she just barely qualified as a tropical storm. But, just like a horror movie monster, Sandy wasn’t about to die that easily. By the seventh day of her rampage, she got a second wind and re-intensified into a Category 2 hurricane just in time to slam into the Northeastern United States.

Sandy made landfall in New Jersey. Her 89 mph winds crumbed houses into rubble and left behind widespread flooding. Neighboring states also saw flooding, extensive wind damage, and even blizzards. Other than New Jersey, New York got hit hardest, with flooded streets, tunnels, and subway lines in New York City. Most of the states along the East Coast of the United States were declared to be in a state of emergency, from the Carolinas north to Maine.

In all, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine, and westward as far as Michigan and Wisconsin. In Canada, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia were all pounded by storm surges brought on by the hurricane.

In the United States alone, Sandy caused more than $65 billion in damage, and she claimed more than 280 lives throughout the region she affected. That’s more devastation than most movie monsters could even dream up.

Did you live through Superstorm Sandy? Share your recollections below!

6 comments

1 Irene { 10.28.13 at 8:04 am }

We live near Exit 3 of the NJ Turnpike in southern NJ. I remember preparing for this storm: making sure that we had supplies to last us for several days in case we lost power; that both cars were gassed up; that our propane tank to the outside grill was full, etc. The winds were howling starting the day before, and continued for almost two days. My husband and I took turns sleeping. I slept with ear plugs for those few hours. Fortunately, we did not loose power. Our television was on most of the time to see the live coverage of the storm: before, during, and after. I just felt so helpless and so sad and so sorry when I saw what was happening throughout NJ and all the other states. My relatives and friends were affected; we felt so helpless. All we had were a lot of leaves and branches that had fallen throughout our neighborhood. Many of us supported our local churches and organizations with food, clothing, etc. and money to be sent to the badly stricken areas in NJ. We will never forget this storm.

2 Tom Ashcraft { 10.23.13 at 10:55 pm }

I was on a cruise ship, our port of calls were Nassau and Freeport. We made it Nassau ok, but could not make it to Freeport. Instead our captain elected to try and out run sandy. My stateroom was on the 5th deck, i could look out my porthole and watch the waves hit my porthole.
You could set up pn the 10th deck were the swinging pool was, and see the sea spray come over the top of ship.

3 Elizabeth Johnson { 10.23.13 at 4:05 pm }

We live in Union Beach New Jersey, the storm came at high tide and a full moon, a 14 foot storm surge came in to our town ! Some houses were washed out to sea, some were pushed onto the road and one house was pushed into the marsh behind it. Total devastation, almost 80% of homes had some type of storm damage, it was terrifying to witness this. The next morning our town looked like a war zone, boats washed up on lawns, debris everywhere, downed trees and personal items all over the place. We even had photos from Staten Island in our yard!

4 Michael Amato { 10.23.13 at 3:29 pm }

I live in in West Haven, Connecticut which is located on the south shore. During the height of Hurricane Sandy, the trees at my condo were bending all the way to the ground. One of my friends, who lives in Madison, Ct., recorded a wind gust of 98 MPH on his home weather station. My home barometer fell to 28.80″ even thought the center of Sandy came ashore in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This compares to my barometer falling to 28.96″ with the arrival of Hurricane Irene in 2011. I will always remember these two Back to Back hurricanes.

5 Stephanie { 10.23.13 at 11:51 am }

I live in Monmouth county in nj. The howling wind woke us up with this superstorm. We lost power for 10 days we had none but we had a tree come down which was already on its way out. So now it’s firewood. I would never want to go through that again .

6 Karen McLaughlin { 10.23.13 at 9:45 am }

When the ocean began to crash over the boardwalk the day before sandy was supposed to hit we knew it was time to get off the island.seaside heights had been our home for many years . It was tuly heartbreaking to c the newscasters standing I. 5ft of water during the storm. The next day we couldn’t get within 3 blocks radius of the bridge to go home because of the flooding. And safety of the bridge was compromised by boats and houses smashing into it!!!! Houses!!!!?!? Yes ! It took two weeks before we could get over there it was so eerie sand piled up 2&3 stories high trucks in sink holes houses and motels torn to shreds . It felt like a movie set w the military presence not to forget every other form of law enforcement . There were checkpoints we needed I’d to pass through, we couldn’t leave the area we were helping in the cvs was on 24/7 survailence. At night was the worst the only light where fires burning ….. With no where to get a room or rent a place we had to go up north by my brother in Passaic county and thank god we found a room there. We came back down end of feb the day before my daughter gave birth to our first grandchild. It took till end of May to finally find a place to live 13 miles from our former home. We miss the salt air and the peace and quite of the off season however if there is another storm like sandy we are far enough away from the water….. Please remember there are still many people struggling to get their lives back together we still need dressers and curtains etc… However god provides and we have a roof over our head and no loss of life .. Just stuff lost and a lesson learned!!!!! There is no way around Mother Nature !!! Thanks Karen

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