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The United States is bracing itself for Hurricane Sandy. As the storm approaches the coast, its powerful winds and rain will cause widespread destruction. The storm's bullseye area spans thousands of miles, so its effects will be felt from New York City to Maine. However, the most immediate threat is coastal flooding. Here are a few important things to know about Hurricane Sandy. In addition to widespread destruction, Sandy will cause life-threatening flooding.
In the US, Sandy's damage was extensive and long-lasting. It became particularly big, thanks to a weather pattern over Canada. Sandy's landfall coincided with the highest tides of the month, further exacerbated by the storm surge. Its reach was far-reaching, affecting two dozen states and even countries as far away as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. However, even though Sandy caused massive damage in the United States, its effects are still not completely understood.
The US's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has estimated that Sandy caused $5 billion in damages, including more than $50 million in operating costs and lost revenue. The National Hurricane Center released a report showing that Sandy is projected to rank as the second-costliest tropical cyclone in history, after normalizing for inflation. Those figures are estimated to be much higher, so we must wait for the full picture. The United States will need to do its part in the clean-up effort.
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the wind intensity was near 80 mph. At this intensity, Sandy was classified as a category 1 hurricane. It made landfall near the Atlantic City, New Jersey, and then continued its northward path. It later turned north-northwest, affecting the coast of New Jersey and eastern Canada. This storm will continue to pose a risk to the coastal areas of the Bahamas, including New York City.
The data from NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite gave a partial view of Sandy, which passed over Cuba on Friday. It also revealed that Sandy's center of circulation was surrounded by a large area of intense rainfall. As Hurricane Sandy weakened, the TRMM satellite began flying over the affected areas, collecting rainfall data. It also revealed the extent of storm damage along the U.S. eastern seaboard.
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Sandy's massive circulation on Oct. 29. This image of Sandy shows that it covers nearly 1.8 million square miles of the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, Canada, and New England. The image was taken two hours before Sandy made landfall. The storm eventually hit New Jersey and Delaware. There are still some uncertainties, but the storm's path in New Jersey was correct. Sandy tracked into New Jersey after the storm weakened.
As of October 31, Sandy was near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was moving west-northwest at 15 knots and was about 90 miles west of Philadelphia. It was centered near 40.5 North and 77.0 West. The minimum central pressure remained high at 960 millibars, indicating that it was rapidly approaching land. Sandy has continued to intensify as it approaches the coast. It is expected to make landfall in mid-Atlantic states late Monday night.
The National Hurricane Center warned that Sandy will produce significant rainfall across parts of the Eastern Bahamas, the Central Florida coast, and the Dominican Republic. Some areas may experience 20-foot storm surges. Its potential to disrupt communications systems caused widespread power outages and stranded flight services. It also led to widespread coastal flooding. In addition to coastal flooding, Sandy is expected to cause major beach erosion and some coastal flooding. Sandy's impact will be felt far beyond the affected areas.
As of Oct. 28, Hurricane Sandy had maximum sustained winds of approximately 75 mph. It was moving northwest at 18 mph, with minimum central pressure at 952 millibars. Sandy's southern arm was positioned over eastern Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Sandy's northwestern edge was also extending clouds over southeastern Florida. Sandy is still a category one hurricane, but its storm surge is much higher than it was a week ago.
New York Cares is a New York City nonprofit that mobilizes volunteers throughout the city year-round. The group worked with state VOADs to coordinate regionally, post resource papers on its website, and promote a Disaster Distress Hotline. The organization also worked to list needs of impacted communities on The National Donations Management Network. However, it took several weeks before aid could reach the island nation. It is unclear how long the recovery process will take and whether aid will reach these people.
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