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Aftermath of Sandy Hits East Coast

Infrared satellite photo of Sandy moving inland early Oct. 31. Source: NASA
Click image for larger view
The northeast is cleaning up and getting back to business after Superstorm Sandy, which made landfall in New Jersey Monday, Oct. 29, 2102 after pounding the Eastern seaboard with waves and floods.

Sandy, the 19th named storm of the 2012 hurricane season, Sandy adds to the trend of extreme weather, which includes increasing numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes.

Sandy encountered the winds of a relatively southerly Jet Stream and the winter weather of a mass of cold Arctic air moving to meet it. Deep snow fell in the western sections of North Carolina and the mountain ranges to the north.

Experts are pointing to increased sea surface temperatures that generate greater number of hurricanes, increased moisture in the atmosphere that primes the storms with water for rain and changing climate patterns in the Arctic that may have directed Sandy onto land.

The return to normalcy has been difficult. The following timeline details the struggles and the recovery efforts.

Mon. Oct. 29 -- Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey and major storm surges ravage must of the Northeast Coast. Lower Manhattan suffers major flooding which shuts not only inundates city streets but floods and damages subway stations and tunnels. Public transportation and schools are officially shut down.

Tues. Oct 30 -- Just after the peak of the crisis, more than 8 million homes had lost power, but by midnight power had been restored to more than a million, leaving 6.6 million still were in the dark. noon Wednesday 6.3 million were without power.

Thurs. Nov 1. -- New York started resuming subway service after its tunnels had been flooded Monday evening. By the afternoon 4.9 million were still without electricity.

Fri. Nov. 2 -- Many service stations did not have electricity and "panic buying" increased at stations that were open for business. About half the homes had seen their power restored, but 4 million had not.

Sat. Nov. 3 -- Long gas lines and high tempers continued as New York City slowly recovered from Superstorm Sandy. The Federal government began sending 12 million gallons of unleaded and 10 million gallons of diesel fuel to the New York area.

Sun. Nov. 4 -- Electricity was restored to southern Manhattan over the weekend, but outer regions of New York still suffered power and gasoline shortage, much to the frustration of residents.

Mon. Nov. 5 -- By Monday, almost a week after the storm made landfall, 1.9 million customers in the country did not have electrical power.

Wed. Nov. 7 -- A fresh Nor'easter storm complicated efforts as the New York area tried to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Thurs., Nov 8 -- New York announced a gasoline rationing plan for much of the metropolitan area.

Homeless residents of the New York area may find housing in FEMA trailers, which are being moved to the area.

Sun. Nov. 11 -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he planned to ask for $30 billion in Federal disaster aid to help recover from Superstorm Sandy. Two weeks after the storm passed through the Northeast, 125,000 were still without electricity over the weekend.

Tues. Nov. 13 -- Gasoline rationing imposed in New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Rationing continues in New York and Long Island.

Wed. Nov. 14 -- Utility companies in the New York area received subpoenas from the NY State Attorney General as part of an investigation into electricity distribution failures after Superstorm Sandy.

Thurs. Nov. 15 -- Power returned slowly to the New York area after Superstorm Sandy, with about 99% of customers receiving electricity. However, that figure did not include about 90,000 buildings that were destroyed or so severely damaged that power was not available.

Fri. Nov. 16 -- Superstorm Sandy was destructive enough to reduce industrial production 0.9% in October, the Federal Reserve announced.

Sun. Nov. 18 -- Almost three weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast local officials are still counting the dead. One count, reported by the New York Times, put the death toll attributable to Sandy above 100.

Mon. Nov. 19 -- Three weeks after Sandy blew through New York the city's buildings department had inspected 80,000 homes, assessing many as unsafe. The department's inspectors are now revisiting the most damaged buildings to see if they will recommend demolition.

Tues. Nov. 20, 2102 - A study of New Jersey's shorelines found that beaches are now 30 to 40 feet narrower. Researchers at Stockton College's Coastal Research Center said some beaches lost half their sand.

Wed. Nov. 28 -- The governors of New York and New Jersey have asked Congress for $42 billion and $36.8 billion respectively for restoration aid in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Fri. Nov 29 -- Consumer spending fell 0.2% in October because as Superstorm Sandy kept shoppers out of stores, the Commerce Department said. Income overall was unchanged, following a month of increased wages. However private wages and compensation fell.

Sat. Dec 1 -- Ellis Island remains in the dark without electricity a month after Superstorm Sandy. Officials are moving 1.7 million historic artifacts from the museum that studies and commemorates the famous immigrant landing port in New York Harbor.

See our Hurricane Channel for More Updates


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Advice on storm repair, with links to trade groups for referrals to contractors
In addition to links useful to people cleaning up after weather damage, the site has basic safety advice and videos illustrating repair and restoration efforts.

Costliest Hurricanes in the United States

			
Rank:	Name:	Year:	Damage (U.S.)*:
1	Katrina	2005	$105,840,000,000 
2	Sandy	2012	$55,000,000,000 
3	Andrew	1992	$45,561,000,000 
4	Ike	2008	$27,790,000,000 
5	Wilma	2005	$20,587,000,000 
6	Ivan	2004	$19,832,000,000 
7	Charley	2004	$15,820,000,000 
8	Irene	2011	$15,800,000,000 
9	Hugo	1989	$9,739,820,675 
10	Rita	2005	$11,797,000,000 

$1.4 million in aid from Hurricane Irene announced in April 2013, 20 months after August 2011
Hurricane Irene made landfall on New Jersey on Aug. 28, 2013. On April 26, 2013 $1.4 million aid was still being disbursed.

NPR's set of hurricane tracking maps for Sandy in Oct. 2012
These maps look at storm surge levels and the location of crisis centers among other things.