Hurricane Sandy on October 25, 2012, photo courtesy NOAA Environmental Visualization Lab.
More than a week after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York City, hundreds of thousands of people are still without power.
Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,800 km (1,100 miles). The super storm has destroyed portions of the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States and it is estimated to have caused damage of at least $20 billion, and $50 billion if we include business interruption. If these figures are confirmed, Sandy would be the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history, behind only Hurricane Katrina.
Sandy developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean on 22 October, but it was upgraded to Tropical Storm six hours later. On 24 October, Sandy became a hurricane, made landfall near Kingston, Jamaica, and on 25 October, it hit Cuba, before moving through the Bahamas. Early on 29 October, Sandy curved north-northwest and moved ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In Jamaica, winds left 70% of residents without electricity, blew roofs off buildings, killed one, and caused about $55 million in damage. In Haiti, Sandy brought flooding that killed at least 52, caused food shortages, and left about 200,000 homeless. In the Dominican Republic, two died, and one man died in Puerto Rico. In Cuba, there was extensive coastal flooding and wind damage, destroying some 15,000 homes, killing 11, and causing $2 billion in damage. In The Bahamas, two died with an estimated $300 million in damage.
In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected at least 24 states, from Florida to Maine and west to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. Its storm surge hit New York City on 29 October, flooding streets, tunnels and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.