Weather Nerd

With These Hands

Superstorm Sandy

The photo is by Frank Franklin II of the AP, found on Twitter via Chris Heller this morning. It shows Breezy Point in the Rockaways section of Queens, ravaged by a fire last night that reportedly destroyed as many as 80 homes. Devastating. (Colorado sympathizes.) Mayor Bloomberg says there were 23 blazes across New York City, as Sandy’s aftermath made fires difficult to reach and difficult to fight. We often forget that it’s the second-order effects of these disasters that can sometimes be the worst parts — like in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when fires did far more damage than the quake itself. Thankfully, it appears no one was hurt in the devastating Breezy Point blaze.

10 people are already reported dead in New York, though, and Mayor Bloomberg says, Tragically we expect that number to go up.” As I said last night, I have no sense for how high it’s likely to go. We can only hope and pray it remains relatively low. There were also, if I have this right, at least 5 deaths elsewhere in New York state, 3 in New Jersey, 2 each in Maryland, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, 1 in West Virginia, and 1 on the HMS Bounty, for a total of 26 U.S. deaths so far. Along with the 67 deaths in the Caribbean and 1 in Canada, that’s 94 deaths total — and counting, I’m afraid.

Meanwhile, here’s another remarkable photo, which I didn’t publish last night because I was concerned it might be fake, but now The Atlantic appears to have confirmed it. It’s a shot of flooding last night in Manhattan’s East Village, apparently taken by jesseandgreg on Instagram (or posted on them, anyway):


Yikes. That’s gonna take a while to clean up.

It kind of feels like a good day to watch this video:

I’ll leave you again with a donation link for the American Red Cross. Please help the victims of this tragedy if you can.

Oh, and follow me on Twitter for my latest updates.