Hurricane Sandy struck Mass. a glancing blow — but still left hundreds of thousands without power
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One year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast, some communities on the East Coast are still reeling from extensive damage. Fortunately for Massachusetts, the storm only struck a glancing blow here.
Trees dropped left and right during the storm, falling on homes, cars, and power lines. The city of Boston received more than 500 reports of tree emergencies and more than 200 reports of downed wires on the mayor’s 24-hour hotline. Roughly 7,000 homes lost power in the city, and more than 385,000 residences were blacked out statewide, the Globe reported.
Sandy’s track was unusual, meteorologists said, moving north across the western Atlantic before sharply turning to the west to make landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. The weakened storm then moved west across Pennsylvania and western New York, according to the National Weather Service.
“What made it so strong is that it happened so late in the season,” said Frank Nocera, weather service meteorologist. “Given that it was so late, the jet stream up here was pretty strong. It captured Sandy and recurved it to the coast. You don’t typically see that in the hurricane season of August and September.”
Wind gusts reached nearly 80 miles per hour along the southeast Massachusetts coast, and the storm surge reached four-and-a-half feet in some places.
Rhode Island was the hardest hit state in Southern New England. Wind gusts reached near 90 miles per hour and nearly the entire coast received moderate to major coastal flooding. Waves clocked in at 30-plus feet in the ocean off Rhode Island, causing severe erosion, according to the weather service.
“The most devastating effects were in New York and New Jersey; Rhode Island was also hit hard,” Nocera said. “In Massachusetts, we got off somewhat easy.”
Nocera said that as the storm approached the East Coast, its exact track was somewhat uncertain.
“The strike zone included all of New England, but as it got closer, the agreement got better that it would make landfall at the New Jersey coastline.”
US Senator Edward Markey commemorated the anniversary of Sandy, praising the “resolve and spirit” of citizens still recovering from the storm’s extensive damage.
He also warned that storms could intensify in the future if pollution is not curbed.
“We know the pollution we pump into the sky raises the seas, heats them up, and gives storms more power,” Markey said in a statement. “We need to cut carbon pollution to reduce the risk of more powerful storms.”