Hurricane Sandy in Perspective – updates

HURRICANE HISTORY:

Council on Foreign Relations, How Likely Was Hurricane Sandy.  Some really chilling scientific research and dire warnings about the likely frequency of future hurricanes with the same path.

“[Scientists are] telling us we shouldn’t be surprised that this 900-mile-wide monster marched up the East Coast this week paralyzing cities and claiming scores of lives…. In a paper published by Nature in February, [Oppenheimer] and three colleagues concluded that the ‘storm of the century’ would become the storm of ‘every twenty years or less.’

Hurricane Sandy in perspective, in HSWired, November 2,2012. Excellent article that provides a wealth of historic and scientific knowledge useful to our current efforts on determining H. Sandy’s place in context of  U.S. disaster experience. Comments from Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. (Univ. of CO).

Hurricane Sandy has left death and destruction in its path, and it broke a few records, but there were worse hurricanes; since 1900, 242 hurricanes have hit the United States; if Sandy causes $20 billion in damage, in 2012 dollars, it would rank as the seventeenth most damaging hurricane or tropical storm out of these 242; the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 tops the list; Hurricane Katrina ranks fourth; from August 1954 through August 1955, the East Coast saw three different storms make landfall — Carol, Hazel, and Diane; each, in 2012, would have caused about twice as much damage as Sandy

FEDERALISM:

Some sensible advice from an experienced disaster researcher at Brookings, Nov. 2.:  Feds, States, Cities — The All of the Above Disaster Response

INFRASTRUCTURE:

Insightful article from a Columbia profession in CNN today. New York’s Neglected Infrastruture Fails.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that New York’s infrastructure wasn’t up to Hurricane Sandy.  What happened in New York was not all that different than what’s

happened in other places hit by freakish weather events — the infrastructure wasn’t robust enough to withstand nature. It is not the first time it’s happened here, and it won’t be the last.

The problems in New York stem from many factors. For a start, infrastructure investment here is no more a priority than it is in other places across the country:

It’s simply not something that voters want badly. When given a choice between investing in schools, health and housing or investing in sewers, tunnels or roads, the

latter will always lose out. And that’s not just the view of the politicians, but also of the constituents who keep them in office.

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This entry was posted in Basic science, History, Hurricane Sandy, Infrastructure. Bookmark the permalink.

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