Monday, November 05, 2012

1938 Hurricane vs Sandy

It really pisses me off to hear people calling Hurricane Sandy "Superstorm Sandy" - the Associated Press is particularly guilty of overusing the big scarey moniker.

Climate Change? Maybe not, folks - while it is true we haven't seen these severe storms all that often, they are not as scarce or as isolated incidents as one might think.

The big difference between Hurricane Sandy (and Irene) and the 1938 storm is that nobody saw it coming back in '38. It took everyone completely by surprise. Like Sandy, it came during a full moon and high tide. In Providence, Rhode Island, people actually drowned in the streets - people who were on their way home from work when the surge came.

Known as the “Long Island Express” and “The Great New England Hurricane of 1938,” the storm initially was expected to hit Miami, but changed direction and hit New York and New England instead.

39 homes built in coastline areas were forever abandoned after the '38 'cane - no one even thought of going back and "rebuilding." I have nothing but sympathy for the folks in NYC who lost everything, especially the people of Breezy Point. Don't rebuild. Be thankful for what you had and the friends you made and think of the good times. But move on to higher ground.

According to WikiPedia:
  • The Great September Gale of 1815 (the term hurricane was not yet common in the American vernacular), which hit New York City directly as a Category 3 hurricane, caused extensive damage and created an inlet that separated the Long Island resort towns of the Rockaways and Long Beach into two separate barrier islands.
  • The 1821 Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane, a Category 4 storm which made four separate landfalls in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and southern New England. The storm created the highest recorded storm surge in Manhattan of nearly 13 feet and severely impacted the farming regions of Long Island and southern New England.
  • The 1869 Saxby Gale affected areas in Northern New England, decimating the Maine coastline and the Canadian Outer Banks. It was the last major hurricane to affect New England until the 1938 storm.
  • The 1893 New York hurricane, a Category 2 storm, directly hit the city itself, causing a great storm surge that pummeled the coastline, completely removing the Long Island resort town of Hog Island.

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