11 Most Disturbing Facts About Hurricane Sandy
October 29, 2012 |
If you’re on the East Coast, things outside look pretty grey as Hurricane Sandy comes barreling towards New York and other states. The trees are blowing, the rain’s starting to come down, and reports are coming in of flooding in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Here's a round-up of 11 alarming developments.
1. Sandy is Worse Because of Climate Change
Watch out, climate change deniers: your narrative is about to be washed away. Hurricane Sandy’s massive impact may be made worse by the fact of climate change, brought on by man-made carbon emissions. While scientists have cautioned against linking individual weather events to climate change, NPR notes that researchers have begun to take the issue seriously and “are attempting to quantify the role human-driven climate change plays in particular events.”
Kevin Trenberth, a scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, explained how climate change was impacting Hurricane Sandy in an article re-posted on Think Progress . “Sandy is predicted to turn left and move ashore on the Atlantic coast somewhat south of New York...The sea surface temperatures along the Atlantic coast have been running at over 3C above normal for a region extending 800km off shore all the way from Florida to Canada,” writes Trenberth. “Global warming contributes 0.6C to this. With every degree C, the water holding of the atmosphere goes up 7%, and the moisture provides fuel for the tropical storm, increases its intensity, and magnifies the rainfall by double that amount compared with normal conditions.”
2. Sandy is the Worst Storm Ever, Say Meteorologists
Meteorologists have taken to pronouncing the super-storm the largest to hit the Atlantic Ocean. Bloomberg News reports that “drenching rains are soaking the mid-Atlantic states, 3 feet of snow may fall in the Appalachians and an 11.7-foot (3.5- meter) record-breaking storm surge may slosh over Manhattan ’s Battery Park if Sandy’s most powerful punch arrives at the same time as the high tide.”
The news outlet quotes Rob Carolan, a New Hampshire-based meteorologist, as saying that “The storm is the largest tropical storm in the Atlantic. It’s about 900 miles across.” Carolan added that “I have never seen a storm this large in regards to wind flow...So many bad things had to come together all at once.”
3. Parts of New York Flooded Before the Full Impact
Gawker posts a set of photos that show how "West Manhattan's Battery Park Esplanade was pretty much under water" this morning. And this is before the worst part of the storm is set to hit.
4. Homeless People in Peril
With New York City’s shelter system already strained and bursting at the seams, Hurricane Sandy is not going to help. And inevitably, homeless people will be forced to stay outside and weather the storm somehow. One homeless man told a freelance reporter that he would not seek out emergency shelter because he did not receive help during Hurricane Irene. “They don't want us there. These shelters are for the good folks, the families that get evacuated. There is no room in there for me,” said 43-year-old James, a homeless man currently staying in Harlem. “I couldn't get help during Irene...So, I'm not gonna bother this time. I can't get into the trains and seek shelter there, because the subways are shut down."
The Coalition for the Homeless has also posted some tips for homeless people on their website.
5. Rikers Island Prisoners Forced to Hunker Down